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Sample Sidebar Module

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| CENTRE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE

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Hundreds of women across African continent converged in Johannesburg, South Africa on 4th to 8th November, 2019 for Africa Women in Dialogue (AFWID) Conference. The event was organized by the Zanele Mbeki Development Trust under the banner “Women’s Voice and Power as Agents of Change”. Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) beneficiaries who self-identifies as LBT women were part of the conference. Three representatives from Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre districts attended the conference.

This was a high level conference attended by influential women in Africa. The key speakers during the conference highlighted that, LGBTIQ rights are also human rights and therefore, people have to understand that the LGBTIQ do not need special rights. Information, Education and Communication Messages for LGBTIQ awareness need to be designed and disseminated across countries in order to empower the community with knowledge to self-advocate for their rights. It was noted that most people hate the LGBTIQ due to ignorance, therefore, Organizations need to implement projects or activities aimed at educating the wider population on LGBTIQ rights. As for Malawi, it is very important to hold the government accountable to what is signed in the international bodies. 

One of the representative upon return from the conference said, “It was such a great experience, I have learnt a lot. As LGBTIQ people, they said we need to voice out and be heard, silence is like death and that comfort is an enemy of change therefore we need to come up with ideas, and strategies that will help us be known to the world. To Stand up for our rights”.

The participant from Blantyre further said that, “AFWID has told us to believe in ourselves, and that the disabled, LGBTIQ people are capable of doing anything in this world, they want to see disabled and LGBTI people in the for front of organizing such events, we need to motivate ourselves as well as others, when we wake up each day and proudly say who we are.”

AFWID platform and the breaking barriers sessions helped the participants to connect and interact with one another. “It was helpful in giving us a voice and assisting us to share our experiences with one another and to contribute to building a new Africa”, said one of the participants. AFWID is about women Empowerment, hence, before one assist others, start assisting yourself first. During the conference, it was emphasized that, there is a need for women in African continent to unite and put their strength together in order to stand with one voice. 

It was also stressed out that, quality education is very important to every woman. Through education one is able to liberate, and to touch lives. Education can help young girls prevent making inappropriate decisions and so many changes can happen and women has the power to change attitudes through education.

The participant acknowledges CEDEP for the opportunity to attend the conference. She said, “It was such a great experience and unexplainable, I leant a lot and I'm very grateful. Thank you CEDEP. I'm honored”.

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Watching: Interview with Malawi LGBTI, human rights leader
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