First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika has appealed to women in the country to join hands in the promotion and protection of girls’ and women’s rights while avoiding pull-down syndrome.
She made the call Thursday at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe during this year’s International Women’s Day Commemoration.
“Let us promote each other; this is no more time for pulling each other down, back biting. Time is now to stop being jealousy or competing with an aim of overcoming or failing fellow women’s success, instead lets pray for one another,” Mutharika said.
She then cautioned parents and guardians not to give girls too much responsibility at home saying that hinders their educational development.
“I am saddened that reports indicate that many girls continue to be sexually abused and exploited this is the time to stop that,” she observed.
She further advised that parents and guardians should be on guard with people who move around cheating women and girls to take them abroad for well paying jobs only to be caught in modern slavery that leaves them stranded to report or come back home.
Chairperson for Non-Governmental Organizations Gender Coordination Network (NGOGCN), Emma Kaliya, threw her support for Mutharika’s statement.
Kaliya said women are still behind in many circles of development in the country and urged women to passionately step up efforts to protect their rights.
“Activists must work in solidarity and not in isolation, only 16.5 percent is the representation of women in parliament, and only 11 percent is the representation in all councils in the country.
“Women from both rural and urban areas must work hard to increase their participation in all areas of life through awareness and capacity building among others,” she pointed out.
United Nations Representative, Maria Jose Torres Macho, applauded Malawi for enacting positive policies and laws that are aimed at promoting women in the country.
“The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations, law, embracing the 50:50 campaign are some of the achievements as a country we can smile for.
“Malawi is the only country that also fought hard for equal pay between men and women in 2017, this is worth recognizing,” Macho said.
This year’s commemoration was held under the theme, ‘Rural and Urban Activists transforming girls and women’s Lives’.