Malawi: Ministry Hails CSOs Partnership in Women Empowerment Drive

Lilongwe — Government has hailed cordial partnership that exists between the Ministry of Gender and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment sector in this country.

Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Mary Navicha made the remarks Wednesday in Lilongwe at Oxfam supported breakfast meeting with the new cohort of female Members of Parliament (MPS) at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC).

She noted that CSOs have contributed a lot of technical and financial resources in support of the National Gender Programme.

Navicha commended CSOs for making significant contributions to the implementation of the 50:50 Campaigns which the Ministry leads and coordinates.

The Minister added that during the implementation of 50:50 Campaigns, Oxfam in Malawi was the first responder which focused on the retention programme of the then 32 seating female MPs.

"The outcome of the retention programme that in this immediate past election we have managed to retain 14 out of the 32 women MPs that were in Parliament," she pointed out.

Navicha encouraged Oxfam and other stakeholders that supported the 50:50 campaigns to increase support towards retention so that we build on the 45 women MPs that are already in the August House.

"We should not be starting from ground zero. This work needs to start now, not when we are near 2024 Elections. We need to mobilise more resources early so that we can groom the other aspiring Women interested during the 2024 elections, including younger women to join politics and stand in the elections so that country's progress in this area should reach the 50:50 desired ambition," she observed.

The Minister thanked Oxfam for supporting this interactive breakfast which has provided space to interact with other partners like GENET, CAVWOC, PACENET, WOLREC, NGO Genders Coordination Network (GCN), Christian Aid, Rural Women's Assembly and Network for Youth Development to share your programmes, sensitise us on key issues we should keep in mind as we sit in Parliament.

Speaker of National Assembly, Catherine Gotani Hara congratulated all female MPs for making it to parliament in the just ended elections despite being tough.

She said it was encouraging to see that Oxfam and other partners have taking the initiative to interact with them on how they could work together in forging development agenda of the country.

"This is the first time am see this arrangement. In the past we have had no such meetings before and I wish to commend the organizers for making such an arrangement to us," Gotani added.

Oxfam in Malawi, Country Director Lingalireni Mihowa said the meeting has been organized to provide a platform on how Female MPs would like to be assisted in their various roles.

She said Female Mps need to outline in details what kind of support they would want to have from various NGOs to support their programmes in their respective constituencies.

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