12 December 2017
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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 10:14

NICE bemoans women’s mediocre participation in development

Written by  Kestina Frank

Mzimba, November 28, Mana: National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust has expressed concern over low women participation in development activities, saying the situation affects social economic growth in communities.

NICE District Civic Education Officer for Karonga, Christobel Shaba, expressed the concern Saturday during a meeting with Mzalangwe Women’s Group in Mzimba District.

The meeting was held to discuss roles women play in implementation of development programmes at community level.

Shaba lamented that, in most communities, women are not allowed to hold high profile positions due to cultural beliefs which look at them as second class human beings whose domain is the kitchen and their cherished role is to care for children.

“In most communities women are denied leadership positions and their role in project implementation is to provide labour,” she said.

She then expressed her office commitment to empower women so that they can take an active role in development projects and effectively fight for leadership positions for the enhancement of development.

Shaba said communities cannot realize meaningful development if women are not given a chance to actively participate in development activities.

Shaba then urged traditional leaders, who are custodian of culture and traditional norms, to scrap off all harmful practices that undermine the dignity of women and girls.

Mzalangwe Women group is a United Nations (UN) Women’s brain child.
The acting chairlady for Mzalangwe Women’s Group, Doreen Hunga, said women are also sidelined and discriminated against in development programmes because they lack confidence and support from fellow women.

“The problem is with us women. We do not support our colleagues who excel in their endeavour and it is this weakness that men capitalize on to look down on us,” Hunga said.

She thanked UN Women for facilitating the establishment of the group which she said has enlightened and empowered her group members that women, too, can take up challenging positions and perform just like men or even better.

Nkosana Thomas Nkosi appreciated the need to involve women in development activities for successful execution of the development projects but with some reservations.

“Much as we appreciate the need for women to participate in development activities and hold key positions in local governance structures and other development forums, they cannot take positions of village headman, group village headman and other high traditional positions,” he said.

However, the traditional leader advised women to trust one another and speak with one voice if they are to win recognition from men and consider them for leadership positions.

NICE is building the capacity of women groups with financial support from United Nations (UN) to promote women’s rights so that they take an active role on issues that have direct bearing on their rights.

 

 

 

 

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