Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

22 March 2014

Malawi: JB Appeals to Women to Break Poverty Cycle Through Businesses

President Dr Joyce Banda has called on women in the country to engage in small scale businesses in order to uplift the economic status of their homes. President Banda was speaking at HHI Multipurpose Hall in Blantyre during the official opening of Annual General meeting for Market Women's Activities in Development (MWAI).

The President said gone is the time when women were completely relying on their husbands for all family basic needs.

"I wanted to say that women have capabilities to transform the economic status in their homes if they engage in businesses. There are success economic stories from the women.

"Do not leave for men only to do businesses and take care of your homes. It is possible for women to empower themselves without involving anybody.

"Develop a spirit of coming up with a business and save the little that you realise as profit. Let businesses bring peace and build good families in your homes," said President Joyce Banda.

The Malawi leader who is also Founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF) International said good financial muscle among women can eliminate gender based violence since women could be financially independent.

The president re-iterated her commitment to continuing assisting women and children by ensuring that their social status is improving.

"Through the Joyce Banda Foundation we have opened feeding centres for orphans, we have free secondary school education and we are providing scholarships both local and international," she said.

Dr Banda reminded Malawians that the country's economy is on good track as evidenced by improvement of both forex and fuel cover.

Executive Director of JBF International, Edith Arkridge said the aim of the fourth annual general meeting was for members of MWAI to share experiences and encourage one another on matters of business.

Arkridge said JBF has several programmes including training women on business issues and arranging international business education trips for Malawians.

"JBF has been sending women to foreign countries to learn how their fellow women are doing their businesses.

"All these are happening because president Banda has created good relationships outside there. May I urge my fellow women to love one another for the betterment of you all," said Arkridge.

In her testimony, Lucy Amani from Kasungu said since he joined MWAI, her life has completely improved since she can now afford to pay school fees for her children and currently she is constructing a house using her money she realized from the business she has been doing for the past three years.

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