By Memory Kutengule, MANA
The 50:50 Management Agency has urged youth in the country to vote for women aspirants in the forthcoming tripartite elections slated for May 2l, observing that women have the same capability to initiate development in the country like men.
The urge was made Tuesday in Chiradzulu when the 50:50 Management Agency team engaged students at Catholic University of Malawi in a discussion on voting for female aspirants during elections.
The discussion also provided a platform for students to express their needs and wants to political candidates vying for different political positions in elections.
Speaking after the discussion, 50:50-Management Agency team leader, Viwemi Chavula, said Malawi Electoral Commission statistics shows that 3.7 million prospective voters are youth.
He said it is for this reason that there was need to encourage youth to vote for female aspirants so as to achieve equal participation of women and men in politics and leadership.
“From our discussion with the students from Catholic University, it has transpired that work is in progress to convince the youth to vote for female candidates who are vying for different positions during elections.
“However, as 50:50 Management Agency team, we will continue engaging young people in all places including colleges on the 50:50-strategy so that they pass on the message to their colleagues, in so doing, improving women representation in elective positions,” he said.
Chavula also urged political parties to engage youth in colleges for the development of their political manifestos and recruitment ground for votes during elections.
“As part of their discourse, politicians need to engage the youth more than before. Let them hear the need and aspirations of the youth, and use the suggestions to develop their manifestos. This will help them woo votes easily,” said Chavula.
One of the students who attended the discussion, Emma Malata expressed gratitude to the agency for enlightening them on the need to elect women in elective positions in order to achieve equal representation in public offices.
“The discussion was fruitful and an eye opener. It has changed our mindset towards the perception we have on women. I believe, come May 2l, we will make sure that we support our female political aspirants because they are capable to propel development in our areas,” she said.
The 50:50-campaign program, managed by Royal Norwegian Embassy in liaison with Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare is funded through a consortium comprising the Centre for Civil Society Strengthening (CCSS) and Action Aid Malawi (AAM).
The goal of 50-50 Campaign is to achieve an improved participation and representation of women in political leadership and decision- making positions in Malawi.