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Zomba Deputy Mayor Urges Women to Embrace Financial Independence.

Zomba Deputy Mayor Urges Women to Embrace Financial Independence.

Zomba City Deputy Mayor, Munira Abdullah Chitseko, has challenged women and girls to work hard in order to attain financial independence.

Chitseko made the remarks on 23 March this year, when the Girls Activist Youth Organization (GAYO) joined the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day at a function held at Chiphoola Primary School in Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba district.

Chitseko said women need to wake up and strive to be economically independent, saying some gender-based violence issues are due to the dependency syndrome that women have.

“This day should encourage women to work hard and challenge the world economically. These other issues that we see are not necessarily gender-based violence, but they emerge because most women depend on men financially, and with the economic challenges the country is facing,  cases of violence in families are common,” said Chitseko.

She, however, asked men to be supportive of women and encourage them in their financial quest.

GAYO Programs Manager Gilbert M’bwana said that as an organization, they want to see more women and girls financially independent by 2063.

M’bwana said his organization is pleased to see many women in decision-making positions both in the public and private sectors, citing the Inspector General of Police, ACB Director General, Malawi University Science and Technology Vice Chancellor, Catholic University of Malawi Vice Chancellor, and Ombudsman, among others.

M’bwana also added that this is in line with their women empowerment agenda, hence their participation in the International Women’s Day to drum up support to advocating for girls education.

“Normative cultural practices hinder girls’ advancement in education, yet girls have the potential to pursue further studies if given opportunities,” he observed.

He has, therefore, called on parents, guardians, local leaders, and other relevant authorities to give girls room to realize their dreams of becoming lawyers, nurses, and engineers, among other professionals who can contribute to the national economy.

“We work in collaboration with the Centre for Education Promotion and Advancement of the Rights of Adolescent Mothers (CEPARAM) because the organization implements sexual reproductive health (SRH) programs. We want to help girls become economically self-reliant,” he added.

CEPARAM Executive Director Caroline Mkandawire said, “Our organization attended International Women’s Day because of being GAYO’s key partner in implementing women empowerment projects in Zomba district.”

She added that CEPARAM partners with GAYO in sexual and reproductive health programmes with university students.

The Girls Activist Youth Organization also implements projects in Blantyre, while CEPARAM has interventions in Zomba.

 

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