JB calls for women economic empowerment

Former President, Dr. Joyce Banda on Monday handed over sewing machines and presented certificates to 80 women who completed a six months At-terreequatu Quadriyya SUNNI (AQSA) sponsored tailoring program.

During the handover at a Mangochi Municipality Hall, Banda advised women in the country to be innovative and ready to find alternatives of generating income to attain economic independence to improve their income base at the household level.

“The only way we can move forward as a nation is to find other ways of generating income,” Banda said. “I would like to call on you to be focused on tailoring other than continuing to depend on your spouses to provide for everything.”

Banda also hailed the AQSA for introducing the tailoring program which also provides women with sewing machines, noting that this was the right direction towards women's economic empowerment.

She, therefore, appealed to public and private institutions to deliberately provide the women with the opportunity of supplying through tender locally tailored material to the institution as one way of promoting women in small and medium enterprises.

AQSA 1 Coordinator, Sheikh Fahad Zahid Muhammad said district councils in the country should facilitate the creation of women groups so as to provide them with loans in their respective communities through the Constituency Development Fund.

Former speaking during the handover of sewing machines. Pic Ernest Mfunya (Mana)

Muhammad also asked the women to take care of the sewing machines, saying the provision of the machines was the only way to ensure women's economic empowerment.

“The sewing machine you have received today should not be turned into tables in your respective homes instead use them for the intended purpose so that you should address some of the challenges you face in your homes,” Muhammad said.

One of the 80 graduating women, Memory Frank commended the AQSA for providing an opportunity that enabled her to learn to tailor, adding that she was looking forward to being economically stable following her knowledge of tailoring.

AQSA which is under Mama Fatima Tailoring Centre in Blantyre trained the women in tailoring and has been training women in tailoring and providing the women with sewing machines every year since 2000.