Norwegian Ambassador Steinar Hagen has urged women in Karonga to get into leadership positions in local structures to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the district.
The ambassador made the call on Friday in Senior Chief Wasambo where he appreciated the progress of the Women Empowerment Project implemented by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace under the UN Women.
Hagen said: “We have heard that women are able to participate in village development committees [VDCs] and area development committees [ADCs].
“So, we need more women in such structures because this is needed for the development of the country.”
UN Women country representative Clara Anyangwe commended the Norwegian Embassy for supporting the project which seeks to empower women to participate in local structures.
“However, progress is slow as most women fail to participate in leadership positions due to society’s perceptions about women,” she said.
Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare director of gender affairs Alice Mkandawire said the project empowered women who are now able to participate in different activities in their communities.
One of the women who contested as a councillor during the May 2019 Tripartite Elections, Ethel Mwanza (Democratic Progressive Party), said she owed her success in the election to the project.
She said: “We learned that we are agents of development in communities.
“So, I decided to contest and I am now councillor for Nyungwe Ward in Karonga Nyungwe Constituency.”
Through the Women Empowerment Project funded by the Norwegian Embassy, ADCs and VDCs have been able to engage in budget formulation using gender responsive budgeting principles.
There is one female councillor in Karonga, but other women are able to participate and represent their colleagues in different activities.