Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Establish First Lady Foundation, NGO urges

By Nyasa Times Published: April 19, 2010

Chairperson of the NGO, the Gender Coordination Network, Emma Kaliya, has urged government to establish a First Lady Foundation to run charitable activities of the First Lady.

Malawi has the new First Lady, Callista  wa Mutharika, who tied the knot with President Bingu wa Mutharika last Saturday.

"Why doesn't the state consider that they should be having what they call the First Lady Foundation so that when the other person leave, the First Lady Foundation should still move," Kaliya told Capital Radio on Monday.

Previous first ladies, late Ethel Mutharika and Patricia Shanil Muluzi had organizations called the Ethel Mutharika Foundation and Freedom Foundation Trusts which worked to help the vulnerable in the society.

Children of late Ethel Mutharika who died in 2008 after succumbing to cancer vowed that despite they would still maintain their mother's foundation.

Kaliya said civil society expects the new First Lady to promote gender equality in decision making positions in the country.

"The expectation from us as the women movement or NGO gender coordinating network is that she will work towards the strengthening the positions of women," Kaliya said.

"First Lady who is coming from the back ground from a  being parliamentarian and a minister and at the same time she worked in the civil society during the time  she was with Hunger Project, We expect her to be quite supportive to women who are in position of power," she said.

Kaliya who played a critical role in initiating and driving the 50-50 campaign to increase the number of women parliamentarians in Malawi during the 2009 general elections said her NGO is ready to work with the First Lady.

She also hoped that Callista wa Mutharika with help advising the Head of Start in steering national development.

"Now that the President has somebody who should be supporting him whatever he is doing, maybe we should be seeing many changes in developmental issues," she said.

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Source: Malawi news | NyasaTimes breaking online news source from Malaw


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