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TAML COMMEMORATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY IN NKHATABAY DISTRICT.


Tea Association of Malawi Limited (TAML) with support from Solidalidad and Fair-Trade Africa commemorated International Women’s Day at Kawalazi estate in Nkhatabay district. The event took place on 18th March 2023. Joining the international community in commemorating the event, TAML and all stakeholders conducted the event under the international theme; "Digit ALL: Innovation and Technology for gender equality.’’




Solidarity walk


The event started with a solidarity walk from Kawalazi Tea Estate gate to Kawalazi estate sports ground. Guests, stakeholders, the community and people from different walks joined the walk to demonstrate their support towards women’s rights. Upon arriving at the venue, the Guest of Honor, The Principal Secretary for Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Ms. Nwazi Mnthambala, joined by other guests toured the pavilion mounted by Kawalazi Tea Estate female workers to interact with women and appreciate their entrepreneurship and economic empowerment initiatives.


The Guest of Honor and other guests touring Kawalazi Estate women pavilion


To kick start delivery of speeches at the event, TAML Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Tonda Chinangwa, welcomed all participants to the event. In his welcoming remarks, he expressed gratitude towards all guests and participants for patronizing the event and emphasized on the need for concerted efforts to promote women empowerment agenda. The following speakers, Kawalazi Tea Estate General Manager and Tradition Authority (TA) Kabunduli concurred with the CEO’s plea to join hands and urged the audience to embrace women empowerment agenda in their respective duty stations. In addition, TA Kabunduli praised TAML for choosing Nkhatabay team to host such a big event. “You have not only honored your fellow workers for hosting the event in Nkhatabay, you have demonstrated that TAML means business when it comes to issues of advocating for women’s rights, keep on keeping on” explained the chief.



TAML CEO addressing the audience during the event.


Speaking during his turn at the event, The District Commissioner for Nkhatabay district, Mr. Rodgers Newa, appealed to men to embrace change and purchase smartphones for their spouses. “Empowering women through technology and innovation, for instance, provision of mobile smartphones can accelerate social and economic development, mobile smartphones facilitate opportunities and freedom for women to make their own choices, improve their social network, change their attitudes and change their life and the livelihoods of the community at large” Explained Newa.


Later, Solidaridad representative, Nozipho Ndlovu, addressed the gathering by emphasizing on the need for using technology to challenge and break gender stereotypes and biases that often limit women's potential. She explained that technology has the potential to open up new avenues and opportunities for women by providing them with greater access to education, employment, and entrepreneurship.



Solidaridad representative delivering her speech

Raymond Mwalughali, Fair Trade Africa representative, who also graced the event called for creation of an environment where women are encouraged to use internet. He added that this would enable women to capitalize the internet for their economic well-being.




Fair Trade Africa representative making a point


Speaking on behalf of TAML, TAML Board Chairperson, Sangwani Hara, highlighted that TAML localized the theme to” innovation and technology, not harassment and violence “as one way of showcasing its commitment to gender equality in the tea industry. He further said that TAML has an industry-wide Gender and Sexual Harassment Policy to ensure that all gender-related issues are dealt with holistically. In addition, he said that TAML recognizes opportunities that come with advancements in digital technology and when well utilized can help to address challenges faced by the tea industry, and that TAML recognizes how digital revolution presents a risk of perpetuating gender inequalities, harassment and violence in the tea industry. “TAML organized this event to empower and protect women in this digital era” explained Hara while concluding his remarks.



TAML Board chairperson presenting speech on behalf of TAML


The event was closed with remarks made by the Guest of Honor. In her remarks, she commended TAML for organizing the event and localizing the theme which, she stated, attest to the fact that TAML recognizes the need to reflect and appreciate the role of women in the tea industry. The Guest of Honor emphasized on the benefits of empowering women to have equal opportunities in leadership positions in tea industry. “Having women in leadership should be a norm and not an exception” she said. Furthermore, she talked about policies that are currently being implemented by the government aiming at promoting women participation in the digital technology sector and asked TAML to be innovative and embrace women in the industry’s value chain to complement government efforts.


The Guest of Honor delivering speech


This year’s event was spiced up with various performances by women and men working in the estate and surrounding communities. International women’s day is commemorated on 8th March every year.




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