Lilongwe, Malawi-On 7th and 8th of November 2023, The Peace and Political Affairs(PAP) Department in close collaboration with AU-SARO and the Government of Malawi organized the FEMWISE National Chapter Meeting and Launch. The event was held at the Bingu international Conference Centre. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the operationalization of the FemWise-Malawi chapter and officially launch the Chapter within the Ministry of Local Government and National Unity.
The meeting also discussed the state of women, peace and Security in Malawi with a focus on the role that FEMWISE Malawi can play to strengthen and augment peace efforts in the region. Also discuss the role that women mediators from the FemWise-Malawi chapter can play toward promoting conflict prevention, mediation, dialogue and other peacemaking or peacebuilding efforts.Addtionally Regional Perspective on How FEMWISE Malawi can contribute to regional peace processes and advance Gender Mainstreamiing in Peace and Secuirty.
During the Launch of the Chapter, The Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda stated that the FemWise Malawi Chapter is a good platform that aims to empower women to participate meaningfully in development if they are included in conflict prevention and mediation in the country.In his key note address, the Minister described the launch as historic because it marks the country’s commitment to enhance the role of women in peace and security in Africa as well as Malawi for sustainable development.
The Minister further said that women play a pivotal role to development hence the need to make them participate in building Malawi. “Our aim, is to achieve a united, patriotic and proud people that believe in their own abilities and are active participants in building the nation towards its development goals”, said the Minister.
FemWise Malawi chapter representative and former member of COMESA Committee of Elders Bishop Mary Nkhosi vowed to make the newly launched organisation operational despite the critical challenges.She said “The vision is taking form, it is taking a name and action. We faced challenges, setbacks and skeptics but we remained determined. Each challenge we faced taught us valuable lesson and made us stronger. We will continue empowering women.”
Lastly, The former President of the Republic of Malawi Dr. Joyce Banda who is also a member of the AU Panel of the Wise spelled the need for stakeholders to take men on board in implementing the Fem-Wis aspirations. She added that the initiative should trickled down to the grassroots level if the organisation is to register good success on its effort towards engaging women in conflict prevention and mediation further highlighting the incidences of women undergoing abuse and violence, she called on stakeholders to reinforce mediation mechanisms through social structures such as chiefs.