Media told to support female aspirants

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The Balaka District Gender Office has asked journalists in the district to maximise coverage of female aspirants as they are campaigning for the 21 may tripartite elections.

The call was made on Wednesday at a long-day 50:50 campaign engagement meeting between the office and journalists in the district.

Speaking in an interview after the event, the District Gender Officer Hannah Nyirenda said media plays a vital role by advertising aspiring candidates to respective voters, hence the need to positively engage them in achieving 50:50 the agenda.

She said: “In most cases we have seen that journalists intend to report more about male candidates than women during an election.

“So, this meeting is happening just to remind each other that we need to work together. We want the media to continue the already good job they have started, by giving space and time to cover the female aspirants in various media platforms.”

One of the journalists who attended the meeting, Mike Kamande, who corresponds with Nation Publication Ltd (NPL) in Balaka said the meeting was important to engage them now as the country is only two months away to the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

“Balaka district has only one sitting female MP, with no female councillor. This shows we indeed have a role as the media to play in ensuring there is equal representation of men and women in elected positions,” he said.

Balaka has four constituencies and 12 female aspirants have handed in their nomination papers to run for MP, and eight wards where 6 female aspirants presented their papers to contest as ward councillors in the coming elections.

The meeting was organised by Governance, Gender, Justice and Development Centre (GGJDC) which is working hand in hand with Gender Office and National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) on the 50-50 campaign in Balaka District.

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