Malawi’s First Lady Hails Catholic Women at Conference Closure
CANAA || By Prince Henderson, ECM Communications Officer || 05 September 2016
Madam Gertrude Mutharika has hailed Catholic women who converged at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) from last week Wednesday to Sunday for their successful 9th World Union of Catholic Women’s Conference (WUCWO), which Malawi hosted.
Speaking when she officially closed the conference which was held under the theme “Women of Africa Proclaimers of God’s Mercy: “Come and See the man who told me everything I did. Could this be the Messiah?” said was delighted to learn that the deliberations were successful and that objectives of the conference have been met.
“The discussions on the implementation of Sustainable Development goals (SDGs); outcomes of the Commission on the Status of Women; Decisions on Ending AIDS by 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063 were timely,” she said.
Madam Mutharika said for the days since the Conference started, Malawi has experienced spiritual transformation.
“This Conference has brought about revival, not only among Malawian women, but also for women across Africa,” said Mutharika who was franked with Madam Mary Chilima, spouse to the Vice President,Hon Dr. Jean Kalirani,Minister of Gender,Children,Disabilities and Social Welfare,among others.
She said in line with the theme for the conference African Women must strive to proclaim the good news to neighbors, their households and in their homes hence become the source of warmth and happiness in their households and communities.
“Time has come for us to be women of integrity. We must become women of faith, and we must be a blessing to all people around us. As Women we need to take a leading role in the implementation of the SDGs,” she added.
According to Madam Mutharika, women of integrity are those that join hands in ending the phenomenon of street women, street children, and in ending all forms of trafficking.
National Chairlady for Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) Malawi,Benadette Chiwaya said during the conference they among others deliberated on African women or youth as Agents of Dialogue, Justice and Peace, a key to a prosperous Africa; Climate Change; Access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right and Women of Africa, Proclaimers of God’s Mercy; love and protection,
The WUCWO conference also looked at women of Africa in the light of Evangelii Gaudium of Pope Francis; and Mercy and Hope in action at the service of the family, youth and the suffering in Africa.
WUCWO President for Africa, Rosaline Nganku Menga said the conference has come up with a number of resolutions which shall be implemented by each member organisation and among others, delegates’ were saddened with prevailing situation on abject poverty, lack of adequate means of education, forced marriages and prostitution and above all trafficking to name just a few.
“We, WUCWO women, will engage in mass sensitization of change of mindsets on women’s issues, especially cultural aspects and practices which militate against the integral development of women,” said Menga as one of the resolution made.
She said as WUCWO women, they will endeavour to take practical steps to ensure that all protocols signed for, at the United Nations (UN), which fall in line with Catholic teaching as well as laws and policies formulated in their countries, are domesticated, enforced, and implemented.
She also said WUCWO, in collaboration with local Episcopal Conferences will ensure the scaling up of appropriate structures geared towards the integral development of women.
“As WUCWO women we pledge to leave no stone unturned to encourage all families to accommodate the voices of children and parents in all matters affecting the life of the family,”she said adding that “………….as a continues reminder of our work of evangelization we as WUCWO women have adopted the slogan “Women of Africa” Response “Proclaimers of God’s Mercy”.
WUCWO Conference was officially opened by President Peter Mutharika at CIVO Stadium on Wednesday, August 31,2016 with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.