Catholic Relief Services (CRS-Malawi Women) last week joined the international community in commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day with a call to the world to embrace equity.
Activities to mark the day took place at CRS Malawi Head Office in Lilongwe. Annually, the International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on March 8.
This year, the day has been commemorated under the theme ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’. The theme highlights the role of innovative technologies in promoting gender equality and meeting the health and development needs of women and girls. The theme puts much emphasis on its motto #EmbraceEquity.
CRS Malawi country representative Sekai Mudonhi echoed sentiments by the United Nations that women at all levels should embrace technology, innovation and uphold equity to make the world a better place to live.
“Women play critical roles in all spheres of life and CRS as a humanitarian agency values the prowess of its women and their significant role in policy development and programming endeavours” she stated.
She added that this is the reason why CRS Malawi set aside this day to allow women to come together to share insights and experiences on how to scale-heights in this technological era.
To this end, she said “Globally things have changed, and we should embrace the change for us to remain relevant and contribute significantly to the development of our organization.
“Let’s embrace technology and become more innovative in our work; and above all let’s embrace equity to help CRS attain its Vision 2030 agenda in ensuring that all people live in just and peaceful societies,” said Mudonhi.
Taking their turn, guest speakers Elizabeth Teleka, National Chairperson for Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) – a network of young women and Blandina Neema Makako of INUA Advocacy – an independent entity that advocates for refugee rights in Malawi and beyond, applauded CRS- Malawi for recognizing contributions made by women in its humanitarian efforts as key staff in reaching out to the most deserving communities across the country.
To spice up the event, CRS- Malawi staff participated in an online voting where four women were awarded in different categories. Alyssa Mangani, Finance Manager was voted most approachable woman, Procurement manager Mary Mawere was voted the most innovative. Clara Dawa, a Project Officer and Molly Kumwenda, Deputy Country Programs Manager were recognized as best team player and the most empowering woman respectively.
CRS is the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United Nations founded in 1943 by Bishops of the United States.
The agency provides assistance to over 130 million people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
In Malawi, CRS began its work from 1997 and it implements programs in agriculture and livelihoods, health and nutrition, microfinance, water, sanitation, emergency relief and early childhood development among others.
CRS projects currently include services for orphans and vulnerable children, strengthening health systems, agriculture, natural resource management, nutrition, microfinance, and early childhood development.