UTM parliamentary candidate for Balaka Central West Constituency Mercy Dossa says unless people change their mindset, the 50-50 campaign will never achieve its intended purpose.
Dossa said this during an interface meeting in Balaka District aimed at encouraging women to fully participate in active politics despite being discouraged by men that they cannot make it.
She observed some men suppress women saying they cannot make it that is why most women do not compete with men for top positions.
Dossa also noted that women face a lot of challenges when campaigning.
“For example, when a female candidate speaks in public people often ask, where is her husband? But when a man conducts a town meeting, no one asks him the same,” said Dossa.
She said there is need for people to change their mentality and asked voters to look past gender and rather focus on the issues presented the candidate.
She said: “This is not about women, but about development. Women and men need to work together in unity and peace to move this country forward.”
The 50:50 Campaign aims to empower Malawian women to stand as political candidates in the upcoming elections.
When the campaign started back in 2004, the representation of women in Parliament was seven percent. In 2014, the rate was at 22 percent and there are expectations that in 2019 more women will be elected.