19 June 2018

Malawi: Persons With Albinism in Malawi Call for Political Space

Photo: Milliyet Daily Handout/Bunyamin Aygun
En Argentine, les albinos sont souvent victimes d'enlèvements à des fins de sorcellerie,.

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has requested government to consider providing political space for people with albinism in the country.

National Coordinator for APAM, Boniface Massa said this Monday in Lilongwe in an interview ahead of Malawi's commemoration of International Albinism day on June 23, 2018 at Mwenilondo Primary School ground in Karonga.

He said government should embrace person with albinism by appointing them into decision making position in political structures an d civil service if they are to play their meaningfully role in their societies.

Massa suggested that a deliberate policy should be put in place so that persons with albinism are considered to hold different and influential as one way of uplifting status in society.

"We want to make a difference in our society by serving our communities in various political positions. We have been sidelined for long time and we need to change the way we do things politically and provide political landscape and supports us fully," APAM National Coordinator stated.

Massa singled out that apart from political arena, government should view persons with albinism as capable and they could contribute effectively and efficiently to the deliverance of good services within the Civil services ranks.

"If we are talking of promotion and protection of the rights of persons with albinism in the country with the view of ending issues of discrimination, stigma and abuse, the two issues should be carefully examined and a way forward should be made," he pointed out.

The Coordinator cited countries like Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa that have made progress in appointing persons with albinisms in top government, parastatals, making them board chairs or members, electing them as Members of parliament.

"I still believe as country we can learn more from these three countries on how they managed to do it for the benefit of the country. We want what is been done there should be replicate in this country too," Massa suggested.

He called on government to set up a national committee to work on the implementation of the suggestion for the betterment of persons with albinism in the country.

Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr Jean Kalilani said government is committed to ensure that persons with albinism are involved in all national and societal development activities.

She disclosed that government would the launch of the National Plan of Action for Person's with Albinism in the country during the commemoration of the day which would help to address the challenge and bottlenecks being faced by them.

"We are appealing to every Malawian to break the barriers to inclusion, be responsible and end discrimination and attacks on persons with albinism. It is possible to have a country where we will all live in harmony without any section of the population living in fear of being attacked. It is possible to put our country on the map with successful stories on albinism. Let us make country shine," Kalilani remarked.

UN Women Representative to Malawi, Clara Anyangwe said UN is hopeful that the new plan would be implemented to accommodate all critical gaps and address the existing social and economic challenges frequently faced by persons with albinism.

She added that UN underlined the importance of enhancing the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with albinism.

Anyangwe said Un recognizes the importance of first, increasing awareness and understanding of albinism to fight against discrimination and stigma in order to remove the barriers which are prevailing in many societies.

The International Albinism Awareness Day is commemorated on June 13 every year.

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