With support from various players in the electoral process, female parliamentarians feel the targeted 50-50 representation in parliament will be achieved in the long term. Speaking at a meeting with representatives of Women and Law In Southern Africa, (WILSA) Malawi, Secretary for Parliamentary Women Caucus, Aisha Adams who is also legislator for Mangochi Nkungulu said the legislators have hit the ground in preparation for the elections.
She said the 50-50 Campaign can best be achieved if it starts with retaining the legislators that are already in parliament. WILSA Malawi presented some funds to the women to help them reach out to their constituents with information on their achievements in parliament such as passing of the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Law.
“This meeting has been helpful and the money will go a long way in meeting some of the needs in our respective constituencies. Currently we are doing visitations and understanding the needs of our constituents. We believe the first stage of achieving the 50-50 Campaign is to retain the sitting female members of parliament,” said Adams.
On his part Mzati Mbeko, National Coordinator for WILSA Malawi said this is just one of the steps for making female members of parliament visible on the electoral stage.
“The expectations of the electorates out there are way higher than what these parliamentarians imagine. Their core mandate is to make laws and they have been doing that not dishing out handouts. So we can identify that gap of expectations and we were trying to discuss how best we can support them in that regard,’’ said Mbeko.
Out of the 193 constituencies represented in parliament, the country has only 32 female legislators.