By Ireen Kayira
Lilongwe, October 18, Mana: Catholic women have asked to be assisted with loans to start small scale businesses so that they are financially stable to support their families.
The request was made Sunday during the commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary which was graced by the Minister of Gender, Patricia Kaliati at Nsamba ST Jones Catholic Church in Lilongwe.
Speaking during the event organising chairperson for the event, Julie Chimtengo applauded Ministry of Gender on what it is doing to uplift and support women.
“As Christians and women in our families, we understand that women are supposed to work hard for their families and should not be dependant,” she said.
She cited that gone are the days when women would expect all the support from their husbands.
“These days women are supposed to be doing something to assist their husbands financially or help themselves if they do not have a husband,” she said.
As such she asked for access to loans, as well as be equipped with various business skills to enable them start their own businesses.
In her response the Minister said as a ministry they look at community development and empowerment of women as key to national development.
The minister also advised women that whenever they have money and other resources, they have got to focus much on their families.
“Sometimes as women when we have money, we focus very much on buying items for the husband, it is not wrong but when we want loans one has to focus on business,” she said.
As such she said the door is open to the National Economic Empowerment Fund ( NEF) loans for them to borrow any amount of money provided they are able to pay back the loans.
She added that the ministry is there for their economic empowerment adding they will also be focusing on adult literacy.
Apart from the economic empowerment, the minister also advised women to dwell in prayer by focusing on praying for the peace of mind from God.
“There are a lot of issues women face to do with marriage, children, health, and even broken families.