The youth and women have all the potential to transform their respective communities. They are also capable of ensuring that their needs are considered in local development initiatives and service delivery. The only hindrance is that they are not given a chance and it is time we left out a larger group of the total population due to unjustifiable patriarchal propensities.
All along, a good number of development initiatives in Malawian have been overrun by the tendency of favouring men at the expense of women, the youth and children. A complete overhaul of such a system is a necessity. Men do not need any social service more than women and the youth. If anything, then we will find that the youth and women seem to be in need of little more social services than the way men do. Why should people with similar characteristics be treated differently just because of age and sex?
The lack of ward councilors has also negatively impacted on social and economic development of the youth and women. Women have been travelling long distances to access clean water and the problems concerning long distances to clinics that have no maternity wings cannot be overemphasized. Young people fail to go to school in the rainy season just because there are no bridges across the rivers or streams.These are just some of the challenges and there are still many more heartrending problems out there.
There is need to build the capacities of the youth and women by giving them a chance to express their opinions during community dialogues. They need to be considered in the issue based campaign and let their choices and needs reflect on the citizens charters.
The May 20 tripartite elections will offer an opportunity to women and the youth to have their long overdue problems to be addressed as there is a provision for them to vote for a development-minded ward councilor.