By Peter Kanjere, PRO
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited hosted its first-ever Men’s Conference with resounding success at Chichiri Power Station in Blantyre on January 14 2022.
ESCOM hosted the conference through its Social and Gender Inclusion office to offer male employees a platform to discuss issues that hamper gender and social inclusion, end discrimination at the work place and offer solutions.
ESCOM hosted the conference in tandem with the recent 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence held under the localized theme: End Violence Against Women and Girls: Act Now!
EMPOWERED—Some male employees for ESCOM.
In his speech, marking the end of the conference, ESCOM Director of Human Resources and Administration, Crispin Banda, said he felt greatly honoured to attend the ceremony and encouraged male employees to make the most of the lessons learnt from presentations, which facilitators made.
Representative of the Director Planning and Development, Alex Kaitane, described as the conference as the first in the history of the Corporation.
In his speech marking the launch of the daylong conference, Organising Committee stand-in Chairperson, Robert M’gunda, said the event was in line with ESCOM’s Social and Gender Inclusion and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, which the Board of Directors approved on 21 April 2017.
M’gunda said the policy, among others, advocates for the increase of female ESCOM employees in decision-making positions, ensuring zero tolerance of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and creating a conducive environment for employees and customers with Special Needs.
“This event, no doubt, underscores the importance, which ESCOM attaches to ensuring that there is no gender discrimination and gender based violence among ESCOM employees and indeed customers we serve,” he said.
The Corporation engaged Jimmy Lipunga and Marcel Chisi as the facilitators of the workshop, which attracted over 100 participants mostly drawn from Blantyre and surrounding districts.
The participants took part in question, answer sessions, and quiz whose winners received prizes. In his presentation, Lipunga noted that issues of gender equality needed proper context to avoid misunderstanding them, adding that it was important for men to do away with cultural stereotypes that portray women as incapable of doing some tasks.
ESCOM has made strides on issues of gender-inclusion with the Corporation now able to employ females as linesmen.
ESCOM also offers scholarships to outstanding female engineering students from the Malawi University of Science and Technology and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences scholarships and internship opportunities.
Additionally, ESCOM promotes women empowerment groups, participates and supports International Day of the Girl Child commemoration activities every calendar year.