Tea Association of Malawi (TAML) commemorated World Women’s Day on Tuesday 30th March 2021 with a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) valued at K15 million to its member estates to be distributed in schools in Thyolo, Mulanje and Kawalazi, Nkhatabay.
TAML is a representative body of large tea estates comprising nine companies. Each of the companies will donate the PPE that includes hand sanitizer, buckets, soap and face masks to two schools of their choice.
In an interview on the sidelines of the event at Mtambanyama Community Day Secondary School ground in Thyolo, TAML board chairperson Sangwani Hara said the donation is part of their corporate social responsibility to help schools in their vicinity.
“We have a cordial relationship with the people in the areas where we have our estates, so this is our contribution to the fight against Covid-19,” he said.
Commenting on the World Women’s Day commemoration, Hara said they ensure zero -tolerance to gender-based violence (GBV) and discrimination based on gender in all tea estates. He said TAML has an industry-wide Gender and Sexual Harassment Policy to ensure that all gender-related issues are dealt with holistically. “Gender-based violence has been there in tea estates, but we are now dealing with it through the policy,” he said.
On her part, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Dr. Patricia Kaliati, who was the guest of honour, commended TAML for ensuring that they are dealing with GBV. She called on TAML to be innovative and ensure that they accommodate women in the industry’s value chain.
“The promotion of women’s rights is not the role of government alone. The private sector has a huge role to play as well,” he said, adding that women have a role to play in the country’s socio-economic development.
Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule, who also graced the occasion, said that countries that value women and accommodate them in their programmes are developing. “Let us not sideline women, let us not marginalize them. They have a critical role to play in socio-economic development,” she said.
International Women’s Day is commemorated every year on March 8, but TAML celebrates the day March end every year. The Theme of the Commemoration was "In the current COVID-19 era, choose to challenge the status quo. Call out Gender Bias and Inequity"