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Lilongwe hosted the first ever Women’s Manifesto in the capital, Lilongwe on the 27th of March 2019.
Who organised the manifesto launch?
The launch ceremony was at a local hotel. Hundreds of women from all walks of life and from across the country’s three provinces attended. Also present, were leaders of various Civil Society Organisations as well as representatives of development partners.
The compilation of the manifesto was spearheaded by the Women’s Legal Resource Centre (WOLREC). Funding from various development partners including the Dutch Foreign Affairs ministry through Hivos, under the Women Empowered for Leadership(WE4L) Programme .
What were the key messages of the launch?
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo, a senior law lecturer at Malawi Chancellor University said that the manifesto was launched at an opportune time as the country prepares to go to the polls on May 21st. Dr. Ngeyi said that women should vote wisely considering what was in the manifesto and comparing it with what is contained in the Women’s Manifesto.
Wolrec Founding and Executive Director, Maggie Kathewera- Banda applauded the development “The manifesto is actually containing the voices of women themselves. It’s a united voice as it is the first time that Malawi women have come together to produce a document that contains their voices because most of the times we have just been talking about issues as individual entities.”
Nicola Ndovi, Hivos Regional Programme Development Manager WE4L added, “The manifesto aims to capture women’s aspirations and also be used as a lobbying and advocacy tool for duty bearers.” Director for Human Rights Resource Centre Emma Kaliya also said that more needs to be done in terms of addressing women’s rights.
Hivos Programme Manager for Malawi, Veronica Kaitano described the manifesto as a tool that cuts across religious, political, social boundaries which could be attested as women from different political parties, clothed in party attire could be seen embracing each other and celebrating together.