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Chimwendo Banda presides over FEMWISE Malawi Chapter Launch, says women are best catalysts of national peace building

Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda says the FemWise Malawi Chapter is a good platform that aims to empower women to participate meaningfully in development if they are included in conflict prevention and mediation in the country.

Chimwendo who is also the Member of Parliament for Dowa East constituency made the remarks when he presided over the launch of FEMWISE Chapter Malawi at a ceremony that was held at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.

In his key note address, the Minister described the launch as historic because it marks the country’s commitment to enhance the role of women in peace and security in Africa as well as Malawi for  sustainable development.

He said “Conflicts and wars remain key factors that are frustrating accelerated development in Africa… Grievances and frustrations are at the root of conflicts, hence the necessity of addressing them before their eruption into violence.”

The Minister further said that women play a pivotal role to development hence the need to make them participate in building Malawi.

“Our aim, is to achieve a united, patriotic and proud people that believe in their own abilities and are active participants in building the nation towards its development goals”, said the Minister.

According to the 2023 Global Peace Index, Africa has a 50 percent share of countries with very low peace impact in the world. This, according to Chimwendo Banda means there are more countries in Africa with citizens going through numerous challenges in their day to day lives.

Malawi is one of the first four countries to establish FemWise-Africa at the national level- a move that is translated as a Government recognition of the vital contribution that women make in preventing and resolving conflicts, promoting social cohesion, and building sustainable peace.

FemWise Malawi chapter representative and former member of Comesa Committee of Elders Bishop  Mary Nkhosi vowed to make the newly launched organisation operational despite the critical challenges.

She said “The vision is taking form, it is taking a name and action. We faced challenges, setbacks and skeptics but we remained determined. Each challenge we faced taught us valuable lesson and made us stronger. We will continue empowering women.”

On her part former President of the Republic of Malawi Dr. Joyce Banda who is also a member of the AU Panel of the Wise spelled the need for stakeholders to take men on board in implementing the Fem-Wis aspirations.

She added that the initiative should trickled down to the grassroot level if the organisation is to register good success on its effort towards engaging women in conflict prevention and mediation.

She further cited Incidences of women being paraded and abused for living longer on earth, land disputes as critical issues that need to be resolved in the country. Hence her call to stakeholders that they should reinforce mediation mechanisms through social structures such as chiefs.

The launch has taken place at a time when His Excellency the State President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is bringing diverse efforts aimed at promoting peace and unity in the country.

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