Media Key to 50-50 Campaign

The 50-50 Campaign Management Agency says it intends to engage the media more effectively in a bid to spearhead the promotion of women involvement in politics.

50-50 Campaign Management Agency Communications expert, Wisdom Chimgwede said this on Wednesday in Blantyre on the sidelines of an information sharing meeting the agency organised with Civil Society Organisations that applied for grants under the programme.

“As a campaign agency, we recognise that projects in Malawi have tended to bring the media at the end which has been a challenge as it means they are only communicating results.

“For instance the media would be invited at a press conference what they are going to get are presentations but they are not part of the process,” he said.

“This time around, we have changed the approach, we are taking the media along to make sure that we walk with the media so that they are informed at each and every stage of the process,” Chimgwede added.

Chimgwede said so far the agency has managed to engage editors from various media houses across the country and intends to engage press clubs in all the regions of the country in an effort to be on the same page during the 50-50 campaign.

“We have managed to have interactions with editors form Lilongwe and Blantyre and on Thursday we will have a chat with editors from Mzuzu to discuss issues pertaining to 50-50 campaign,” he added.

Steve Duwa, Executive Director for Pan African Civic Educators Network, (PACENET), one of the key partners in the 50-50 campaign whose organisation also applied for the grant in the 50-50 campaign said the media has been crucial to issues of 50-50 female represenation.

“In our programs at PACENET, we have the media component where we have a media taskforce. We moved with the taskforce whenever we were doing our programs to promote participation of women in politics,” said Duwa.

In February this year, the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) received K1.1 billion grant from the Royal Norwegian Embassy for the implementation of the 50-50 campaign program to increase women’s political participation ahead of 2019 Tripartite Elections.

The grant is being managed by a consortium comprising the Centre for Civil Society Strengthening and Action Aid Malawi, selected through a competitive bidding process by a panel that included the MoGCDSW and UNDP, among others.