Campaigners for increased women’s representation in elected political positions have mentioned culture as one factor preventing women from assuming leadership positions in Nsanje and Chikwawa.
Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy (YCD) executive director Francis Folly, whose organisation is implementing 50:50 Campaign in Nsanje, said in an interview that the two Shire Valley districts practise patrilineal cultural norms which encourages women to be subordinate to men and not aspire for leadership positions.
His organisation, with funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy, and in partnership with the 50:50 Campaign Management Agency, is sensitising traditional and religious leaders to civic educate their subjects that women can equally make good leaders.
Paramount Chief Lundu said a number of female aspirants have shown interest to contest in the forthcoming elections.
During the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, the two districts produced one female legislator, Esther Mcheka Chilenje, the First Deputy Speaker, who represents Nsanje North. There are five constituencies in Nsanje and six in Chikwawa.