UN Women has urged political parties to embrace female aspirants as the country draws closer to the 2019 tripartite polls.
The organisation’s HeforShe Program Specialist Habiba Osman said this in Karonga during an interface meeting that UN Women organized with the media, political parties and religious leaders among others on the HeforShe campaign.
Osman who is also a renowned gender activist said if the number of elected councillors and Members of Parliament is to be improved upon there is need for political parties to start embracing female aspirants and candidates by putting up deliberate measures targeting women to make them shine.
“As the UN women we strongly believe that the he and she campaign is vital in reversing challenges that women encounter when vying for political leadership so men’s involvement in the campaign especially at a party level is key in championing for women involvement,” she said.
She noted that lack of support and fear of violence and sexual harassment among other factors are hindering women’s progression in political leadership roles.
“What we would want to see is political parties in their policies and constitutions putting deliberate measures that will see women provided with conducive environment and support so that women can feel comfortable and valued,” said Osman.
On his part, Karonga diocese Vicar General Monsignor Denis Chitete commended UN Women for championing the HeforShe campaign saying as religious leaders they are ready to lend their weight towards the initiative.
“We need to respect the dignity of women as they were created and given by God in his own image as women have the potential and gifts just like men but our cultural setting has led us to discriminate. From a religious perspective God created man and woman in his own image and we must respect that,” said Chitete.
The Monsignor therefore said as religious leaders they are ready to disseminate HeforShe messages to their respective churches and mosques regarding the need to respect women and give them space politically and socially and by providing trainings to promote the same.