Ntcheu — Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has urged opinion leaders to enhance the participation of women in issues of the church and society.
CCJP Executive Director, Lawrence Puliti made the remarks on Tuesday during a three- day training for 32 opinion leaders who included traditional and development committee leaders from Kasina and Bembeke parishes on Human Rights and Gender instruments at Ntcheu Boma.
"Women are often sidelined in decision making, not because they cannot deliver but because of some non-developmental cultural beliefs.
"It's time we allow women to lobby for development, after all the population of women is bigger than that of men and they mostly follow most issues happening in the communities," said Puliti.
Puliti said the training had come when CCJP was implementing a two-year project in three dioceses of Mzuzu, Dedza and Mangochi called "Meaningful Participation and Inclusion of Catholic Women in Church and Society processes in Malawi."
"Among other things, the project, which started in February 2019, aims to achieve a comprehensive documentation of levels of marginalisation of Catholic women in the church and local development processes in the implementing dioceses.
"It also aims to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in the Catholic Church and societal processes, and gender-related laws and policies are popularized within the Catholic Church," said Puliti.
Traditional Authority Chauma of Dedza hailed the training and assured CCJP that he would use the skills and lessons learnt and include women in decision making processes in his area.