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Joyce Banda Demands Economic Empowerment for Women

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

During the handover ceremony at a Mangochi Municipality Hall, Banda advised women in the country to be innovative and ready to find alternative ways of generating income in order to achieve economic independence and improve their household income base.

“The only way we can progress as a nation is to find new sources of income,” Banda said.
“I would like to encourage you to focus on tailoring rather than continuing to rely on your spouses for everything.”

Banda also praised the AQSA for launching the tailoring program, which provides women with sewing machines, noting that it was a step in the right direction for women’s economic empowerment.

As a result, she urged public and private institutions to intentionally provide women with the opportunity to supply locally tailored material to the institution through tender as a means of promoting women in small and medium enterprises.

Sheikh Fahad Zahid Muhammad, AQSA National Coordinator, stated that district councils in the country should facilitate the formation of women groups in order to provide loans in their respective communities through the Constituency Development Fund.

Muhammad also asked the women to look after the sewing machines, claiming that providing the machines was the only way to ensure women’s economic empowerment.

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

Memory Frank, one of the 80 graduating women, thanked the AQSA for providing the opportunity for her to learn tailoring, adding that she was looking forward to being economically stable as a result of her tailoring knowledge.

AQSA, which is part of the Mama Fatima Tailoring Centre in Blantyre, has been training women in tailoring and providing sewing machines to them every year since 2000.