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Submitted by Taweni Gondwe Xaba on
The following words resonate deeply with me. "The sales pitch is a winner: countries that create better opportunities and conditions for women and girls can raise productivity, improve learning and nutritional outcomes for children, make institutions more representative and advance development prospects for all. Period! No mention of money. Policy entrepreneurship is what Africa is sorely in need of." In Malawi, there is, of course, the added burden of Aids and malaria which not only take the patients out of productive agricultural circulation but also the women connected to them since they become primary care-givers even in hospitals (due to untenable nurse-to-patient ratios). This is simply adding to the threat of food insecurity at household level. Food insecurity >disease/crime >low productivity/low participation in civic activity> compromised democracy >failure to reach MDGs. Certainly, government policy that prioritises better planning and training in the public healthcare sector as well as more people-centric and productivity-focused public spending is much needed. Not so much sourcing more funding but, rather, being fiscally disciplined with what is already in hand. This means no unbudgetted-for private jet for the head of state when the national carrier is haemmorhaging to the point of near-death, and no government resources being spent on ferrying and feeding women to dance at political events but rather on empowering the very same women with training and skills that can provide a better foundation for themselves, their families and the country as a whole. Please keep preaching this gospel. Failing to empower the woman is tantamount to destroying her entire family and future.