Chitipa has no female Member of Parliament (MP) or ward councilor, a development that has worried District Commissioner (DC) Michael Chimbalanga, saying the situation results in gender bias during planning and implementation of some programmes.
Chimbalanga has since asked Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to up their game in ensuring that more women are elected into the offices during the 2019 tripartite elections.
He was speaking during a review meeting organized by the Department of Gender, Social Welfare and Community Development for the district’s gender technical working group.
The DC said the discrepancy results in lack of women’s voice in planning and implementation of programmes that matter to them.
‘‘Despite the fact that women are equally intellectual as men, and that it is also their right to be in leadership positions, community members, right away from the village development committees, do not wish to give women positions.
“There is need for more awareness campaigns in order to arrest the situation,’’ Chimbalanga said.
Currently, Chitipa District has five constituencies and ten wards but all office bearers are men.
The district’s gender officer, Vincent Luhanga, said financial constraints are some of the limiting factors for women participation in politics.
“Therefore, there is need to financially empower women,” he said.
However, chairperson for CSOs Network in Chitipa, Sydney Simwaka, took the issue on the local council, saying it should also lead by example and start employing more women.
“Since [recruitment] of human resource has now been devolved to district councils, there is need for Chitipa District Council to also focus on employing more women in administrative positions,” Simwaka said.