Younger aspiring females shunning election contest

Mzuzu, 50:50 Campaign Management Agency has projected inadequate representation on grievances and needs for women below 35 in the next five years, due to limitation of their female peers in May 21 Tripartite Election contest.

Addressing female Media practitioners Friday at Mzuzu Hotel, 50:50 Campaign Management Agency Communications Expert, Wisdom Chimgwede said for a particular group of people to have their grievances addressed, they need a representative.

He said there are few females aged below 35, contesting as councilors and parliamentarians.

It will be very difficult for the councils and parliament to discuss issues affecting young women of that age, because for their problems to be heard, there is need for the young women themselves to speak out their challenges.

As an agency we are really concerned because this challenge will exist for the coming five years, Chimgwede said.

He singled out northern region as the most disadvantaged, as it has not even a single aspirant female aspirant below the age of 35, both in local government and parliamentary elections.

Chimgwede added that the challenge shows that political parties and the country’s cultural set up, fail to offer conducive environment for younger women to aspire for higher positions.

He said as young women endure the effects in the next four to five years, a research to identify gaps leading to their low representation would be conducted, in readiness for the 2024 polls.

During the meeting, 50:50 Campaign Management Agency Team Leader, Viwemi Chavula, clarified delay in payment of nomination fees refunds and issuance of campaign materials to some aspirants as pledged by the agency.

It is true that some aspirants have not yet received their refunds and other materials to aid them in the campaign process.

However, I must say the exercise is in progress as we had to wait for Malawi Electoral Commission to release the final list for aspirants which was done in February for aspiring MPs and March for aspiring councilors, he said.

Chavula added that anomalies on aspirants’ bank accounts details also contributed to the delay.

In extreme cases, some aspirants submitted account details which were not theirs.

Because of these anomalies, we had a lot of work load which included following up on the aspirants, this contributed to delays in giving out the refunds, he explained.

The meeting which was organised in partnership with Association for Women in Media had female media representatives from different media houses from Mzuzu City.

Source: MANA Online