60 young women receive political mentorship
Young women from 6 districts across the country have been trained and given skills on how they can become active politicians.
The women have been trained by Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) in partnership with Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Worlec).
Speaking after a workshop which Democracy Works Foundation organised in Lilongwe on Saturday, Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) Regional Director Augustine Magolowondo said they brought together young women from 6 districts, to empower and train them in as far as active politics is concerned and these are women who are interested in being active in politics and a majority of them are actually aspiring to contest come 2025.
“So now we have brought the young women together in order to help them prepare for their journey in politics and we are preparing them by giving them mentorship and coaching and helping them understand what it takes to prepare for elections.
“We have also brought experienced women politicians, some are MPs some are Councillors, we have the Mayor of Lilongwe and others are senior members in their executive committees of their respective parties, so that they can share with these young women what it has taken them to be that successful.
“We want to ensure that as we move towards 2025, we are investing in these young women so that we can better prepare them having skills, confidence and knowledge in active politics,” said Magolowondo.
He added that it is very important to engage support these young women right now when it’s not election time and that when we reach elections time, these young women are already equipped on how to do active politics.
“The biggest challenge we have in this Country is that most of our initiatives we don’t recognise that it takes time to build someone, because we need to allow these young women first and foremost to be recognised in their communities. They need to be known in their communities, they need to be connected to their political parties, they need to be connected to the different structures of those political parties and most importantly they need to grow in skills, confidence and knowledge. So, doing that in the very last hour like in the year of elections doesn’t help, because in any case that’s being very too late,” said Magolowondo.
In his remarks, human rights lawyer and gender equality consultant who was facilitating the workshop on behalf of Democracy Works Foundation Chisomo Kaufulu said the fundamental of democracy is that there should be representation of all sectors of society hence the need to equip these young women to stand up on their own and represent people in different positions.
“We know for a long time not just in Malawi but the whole World we have been battling with presentation of women especially young women in different governance bodies whether it’s in parliament, whether in public institutions and we want to make sure that we change the trend because we know that a more equitable, a more developed democracy benefits from having representation for all its sectors. So, we have been actually facilitating a mentorship program in which we want to use veterans in politics to encourage, guide young women who have shown interest to participate in different political positions,” explained Kaufulu.
One of the mentors, an experienced politician who is also People’s Party National Organising Secretary Tionge Banda, said it is a good initiative to motivate and teach these young women on how to do active politics because Malawi needs to have young women in such political positions.
She then commended Democracy Works Foundation together with Worlec for coming up with the project saying it will benefit a lot of young women who are into politics and that it will change the mindset of how people out there think in as far as politics is concerned.
“I know what it takes to reach at this position and I have skills on how to became an active politician and with those skills and the skills which we have learnt here from the facilitator, we will teach these young women how to do active politics in a way that will make them win. So, there will be a big impact from what we have learnt here and we go out there with our experience, motivate and encourage young women to be active in politics and be strong.
“By doing so, come 2025 we will see more positions whether it is a position of MP or Councillor we will see young women in such positions and that is what we want and am very happy to be part of this initiative,” said Banda.
Oone of the mentees and a beneficiary of the project, Blessed Chirambo from Rumphi Kanyerere ward said from this initiative she has learnt a lot on how to do active politics and is fully prepared for the next elections.
She expressed hope that come 2025 she will definitely win the position of a Councillor which she lost in 2019 because at that time she didn’t have skills and knowledge but now she has all that and this will help her to win that position.
She added that in 2019 she stood on an independent ticket but in the coming elections she will definitely have a party that she will represent.
Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) in partnership with Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Worlec) with financial support from European Union (EU) is implementing Young Women in Active Politics (YWAP) project in 6 districts – two districts in each region. The districts are Mzimba, Rumphi, Nsanje, Neno, Ntchisi and Dowa.
The project in total has 720 beneficiaries in all the districts but during the workshop in Lilongwe Democracy Works Foundation brought together only 60 women from the 6 districts who represented their fellow young women.