JP drills Councillors in gender responsive budget

As one way of ensuring that women are considered in budgets at council level, Justice and Peace (JP) of Karonga Diocese on Tuesday engaged newly elected Ward Councillors for Karonga Central and South constituencies in a one day training in gender responsive budget and public expenditure tracking.

This, according to JP project officer Obert Mkandawire will help the newly elected Ward Councillors to facilitate gender sensitive budget tracking and seek information from relevant authorities at the council to know whether the district’s budget is balancing in terms of gender.

Female community leaders during the training – Picture by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

“We thought it wise to drill these Ward Councillors alongside area development committee (ADC) leaders, chiefs and female community leaders in gender responsive budget to impart basic knowledge on how accommodative budget looks like,” Mkandawire said.

Mkandawire further urged the participants to take a holistic approach if the project is to bear fruits, saying gender responsive budget is provided for in the country’s supreme book of the law, the Constitution and there is need to press for it from all sectors at district levels.

“In short, they should make sure that the Council’s district development plan (DDP), other recurrent transaction (ORT) and annual investment plans (AIP) cover both men and women, boys and girls,” he said.

On his part, AFORD Ward Councillor for Lupembe Ward, Councillor Vincent Kayuni said the training came at the right time when they are about to have full council meeting at the DC’s chamber to take oath of office.

“The training could not come at the right time than this when we have few days to go before we are sworn in on June 29. We want to assure you that we will not disappoint.

“We will work tirelessly to uproot the rot that is at the Council so that an ordinary person should benefit from the tax payers’ money. And that will include tracking the budget in line with gender so as women, girls and youths should also benefit,’ Kayuni said.

Taking her turn, Wasambo vice chairperson Jessie Chanya hailed the organizers of the training, saying it was an eye opener to her as a woman office bearer and will take the program head on to make sure that the council budget is gender responsive.