NTCHISI (Tamanda Mwale, Malawi NewsNow) – Malawi is not adequately acknowledging the role women play in the country, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) country representative Mia Seppo has said.
Seppo said this in Ntchisi during International Women’s Day which was commemorated under the theme; Closing the gap in the world of work by 2030.
The UN diplomat cited women in national women sports teams, those working relentlessly in the fields and those who entered the workforce and continue to inspire.
“The majority of these women are not recognised or financially rewarded for their work,” she said.
Seppo added: “ They sustain households with free labour, and miss opportunities for education, growth and civic engagement. We must break this cycles, and ensure that girls are exposed to and are aware of their own limitless potential.”
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr. Jean Kalilani, said in her remarks that the country could develop if women are supported and promoted to their full potential in their different fields and careers.
She said most women in the country are under developed at individual level because of poverty and illiteracy, the problems, which she said can be sorted if the gap between men and women is closed.
“Our girls should go and remain in school, parents should not force girls into early marriages and women supported in different development activities like finance and Agriculture,” Kalilani said.
The Minister said the International Women’s Day gives an opportunity to women to reflect on the problems they face on daily basis and find better solutions.
NGO gender coordination Network, Emma Kaliya said time is over for men to keep abusing women in work places.
“Time is over for men to keep sleeping with women for favours in work places. A woman should not get employed for being sexually abused by a man. We are human beings and not objects and we should be treated as such,” she said.
Kaliya said men should understand that there is a law that protects women from abuses and the law should take its course. She however, urged the police to be vigilant in dealing with cases of women abuse.
During the event, there was parade by professional women which included women from police, prison, nurses, NGO staff, teachers and women with disability.
And most striking was a motivational speech from 24 year old young lady, Dr Grace Momba who is heading Ntchisi District Hospital.
Momba advised girls to refrain from child marriages at all costs but work hard in school to attain their educational goals despite challenges they face.