Mponel, Dowa-Malawi’s first lady Madame Callista Mutharika has urged Muslim women parliamentarians in the country to put on Hijaab in August House to show that they are proud of their religion.
The First Lady made the call in Mponela, Dowa at the official opening ceremony of this year’s Muslim Women Ijtmah where she was also Guest of Honour.
She said that by dressing according to their religion the women would also act as role models to other Muslim women aspiring to be legislators.
It is for this reason, Madame Callista asked Muslims in the country to vote for more women, in particular Muslims in the forthcoming 2014 General Elections.
She said if there would be large number of Muslim women in the August house, it would be easy for them to express their views on the issues that affect their day-to-day lives.
Currently, there are less than five Muslim women in the August house.
She said it is also a wish of the President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government to make sure that the lives of women are improved in the country regardless of their religion affiliation.
The First Lady however, asked men Muslims to empower their wives. She said men should take example of the country’s President Bingu wa Mutharika who empowered her by appoiting her to be National Coordinator for Safe Motherhood. She said she is now strong woman because of the President’s support.
In her remarks, Muslim Women Organisation (MWO) central region Chairlady Khadija Sama Hamdani, thanked the Madame Callista for gracing the occasion. But, asked the government through the First Lady to make sure that women’s right of dressing is not denied. She said despite having a freedom of dressing, it is sad to see other employers not letting Muslim women to wear Hijaab in their work places.
Hamdani also asked the First Lady to include more Muslim women in the Safe Motherhood program. She said government should make sure that Muslim women are also given a chance to attend trainings, as it is the case with other non-Muslims women.
Hamdani gave Tradition Birth Attendants (Azamba) training as an example.
Sister Hamdani therefore, handed over a book titled, The Real Muslim Woman to the First Lady written by former Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Alhaj Yusuf Kanyamula.
She said it is better for the first lady to read for herself who the real Muslim woman is than just hearing in the media or from other unauthentic sources.
The three-day Muslim Women Ijtmah which started yesterday, is expected to end tomorrow, October 2. It is an annual event which attracts multitude of Muslim women across the nation.
The First Lady donated K2 million to the women. This year’s Ijtmah is held under the theme, ‘Empowering Women in the Participation of Development in the Country.’
Aisha Mambo, reporting for Malawi Muslims Official Website from Mponela, Dowa. Marshall Dyton in Blantyre also contributed to this report.