By Memory Chatonda
BLANTYRE, May 19, Mana: Malawi will for the first time hold global learning on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion forum next week in Lilongwe to scale up best practices of promoting gender equality in all spheres of development.
The forum that will start from May 23 to May 26, will bring together donors, civil societies, private sector, government representatives and other stakeholder from eleven countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Indonesia.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Blantyre ahead of the forum, World Vision Country Director Francis Duwe observed that societies with greater gender equality and social inclusion experience faster economic growth, better outcomes for children and more representative institutions at all levels.
He however, said the situation is the case with Malawi as issues of gender inequalities are deep rooted in societies.
“Women are being excluded in leadership position, decision making processes and other fundamental issues starting from household to community level. Yet, they play a key role in education and nutrition of children,” he said.
He then said it is high time that societies embraced mind-set change to address all issues that hinder women participation in development.
“No Sustainable Development Goal can be achieved minus women. Let us, therefore, champion gender equality and social inclusion by working with entire communities regardless of physical, social, cultural and economic status.
“As for World Vision, we already started implementing this because in all our development interventions, we ensure that women and people with disabilities take a centre stage in development,” he said.
Dube therefore expressed optimism that Gender Equality and Social Inclusion forum will provide conducive environment for participating countries to learn and share best practices to promote equality and social inclusion at different levels of development.
Taking her turn, Legal and Governance Advisor for World Vision Malawi, Tadala Chinkwezele called enforcement of Gender Equality Act and Disability Act if the country is to achieve gender equality and social inclusion in development.
While World Vision Malawi Director of People and Culture Debbie Phiri encouraged women to take up challenging tasks that are mostly dominated by men.