Optimism on women participation in politics

Oxfam Malawi has expressed optimism about increased participation of women and people living with disabilities in Salima district in the upcoming 2025 general elections.    

Speaking during an engagement meeting with aspirants in Salima district, Oxfam Malawi’s Country Director, Lingalireni Mihowa said there is a surge in interest among the groups to contest for various positions.     

Mihowa said through a project called Promoting Gender Transformative and Youth Inclusive Democracy project which is being implemented in partnership with Women Legal Resource Centre (WOLREC), they are trying to address challenges that women and persons with disabilities are facing to hold political positions.

Participants discussing during a meeting

She said: “We are very optimistic that a lot of women and ppersons with disabilities will contest for different positions in the coming elections as many have shown interest and are able to speak out, currently we are calling upon the public to support these candidates in their political endeavours.”

Mihowa said putting women and persons with disabilities in law making positions is very important as they will easily influence decision making and mind-set change among their fellows.

However, chairperson of persons with physical disabilities in Salima district, Alexander Saidi pointed out that lack of resources and information gaps hinder many potential candidates from entering the political arena.

“Lack of resources and information gap is limiting a lot of people to contest in different political positions, there is also societal attitudes as the society still regards women as house helpers, not leaders,” he said.

Persons with disabilities demand equality

An aspiring Member of Parliament, Sakina Chingomanje noted that there is lack of support for women from stakeholders and the community, which undermines their roles in decision-making.

 “Mostly women do not receive support from stakeholders and the community hence are not treated as decision-makers in the communities,” She said.

As Malawi gears up for the 2025 tripartite elections, there is an outcry for inclusivity and support for marginalized groups to ensure an equitable political landscape.

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