The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) says women have the right to aspire for influential positions in community development and local governance structures in the decentralisation process.
CHRR programmes manager Timothy Mtambo was speaking in Zomba last weekend when communities of Traditional Authority Mlumbe held a debate at Namadidi Primary School.
The topic was on challenges women face in local governance and development in their respective areas.
He said his organisation has managed to revamp the village development committees (VDCs) and area development committees (ADCs), but noticed that the decentralisation structures lack women participation.
“Participation of women propels even distribution of development projects which can benefit the communities at large. So, we have revamped the local governance structures so that they should deliver as expected. We also noticed that there were some challenges in as far as the feedbacks are concerned and people did not understand the right procedures to follow.” said Mtambo
He added that his organisation introduced deliberate programmes such as women’s forums, which have seen some of them aspiring to become councillors in the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
One of the women aspirants, Matilda Chikoko, said she has benefited a lot through the leadership trainings offered by CHRR.
“As women we have been empowered to become influential leaders in various positions in society. At first women undermined themselves, by opting for only men to assume leadership positions,” said Chikoko.