Youth participation in politics should not end at voting – CMD


With young women having limited participation in membership and leadership of political parties in Malawi, Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) is hoping to change this in the 2019 tripartite elections.

While Malawi’s politics may have built-in obstacles that hinder the meaningful participation of young women as candidates, Centre for Multiparty Democracy wants to change this through a project called Young Women in Active Politics (YwAP).

Participants to the training

Briefing District Executive Committee (DEC) members in Neno, CMD Programs Officer Ruth Mthekana said the project seeks to groom and prepare young women to contest in the 2019 parliamentary and local government elections.

“The objective of the project is to contribute to strengthen a representative and genuine democracy in Malawi through inclusion, participation and leadership of women particularly young women aged 15-25 years in politics,” she said.

Mthekana added that among others, CMD through the project is hoping to compel political parties to adopt a certain percentage of young women as candidates in the 2019 tripartite elections.

“YwAP will target all political parties especially (DPP, MCP, PP, UDF, AFORD) in target districts through district party committees, political party area committees, and national executive committees and youth wings. We will ask these political parties to identify young women they want to field as candidates at various levels of leadership and send them to us for training,” she says.

The project will be implemented in six districts namely; Neno and Nsanje in south, Dowa and Ntchisi in Central and Mzimba and Rumphi in North and will also target young female politicians from four tertiary institutions; LUANAR, the polytechnic, Chanco and Mzuni.

The project started in January this year and is expected to end in December, 2020.

It will benefit 60, 000 young women largely in the range of 15 to 25 years from the 6 target districts (12 secondary schools in the target districts and 4 university college youth wings).