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Wednesday, 04 July 2018 17:24

Weak gender considerations in political parties affecting women participation

Written by  Patricia Kapulula
Co-Signed the statement: Action Aid Malawi Executive Director Grace Malera - File Photo Co-Signed the statement: Action Aid Malawi Executive Director Grace Malera - File Photo

Lilongwe, July 3, 2018: The 50:50 Campaign Management Agency (the Agency) has noted with concern the weak gender considerations throughout political parties’ decision making structures despite the increasing profile of women empowerment programmes.

In a call to political parties with a slogan ‘Win With Women, Vote Without Violence: It Starts With Political Parties, the agency calls upon political parties to translate the rhetoric on increased women representation into tangible action and results.

“It is important for political parties participating in the 2019 Tripartite Elections to set standards for ensuring the attainment of meaningful inclusion of women in political leadership positions,” reads a statement released by the agency.

The statement signed by the Agency’s Team Leader, Viwemi Chavula and Action Aid Malawi Executive Director Grace Malera, further says despite women bringing a different perspective to community and household needs in policy and programmes formulation; they are underrepresented in positions of political leadership both at party and national level.

The concern comes at a time when several political parties in the country have signed the SADC commitment for minimum standards of women participation.

The agency has, therefore, reemphasized its call for the need to translate such commitments into actions and results. The institution appeals to political parties in the country to put in place concerted efforts in addressing all adverse factors, especially elements of violence against women that impede women from competing favourably in electoral processes.

“In light of the foregoing, the agency appeals to all political parties to ensure that the political party conventions put in place special resolutions including targets, quotas, special recruitment measures and training for women that will ensure equal representation of women in all political party leadership structures,” says the statement.

Malawi has signed and ratified several international agreements which provide guarantees for political parties’ commitment to ensuring equal representation of women and men in leadership positions.

The agreements include Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), the SADC protocol on Gender and Development (2008) which provides for 50 per cent representation of women in politics and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi entrenches the fundamental principle of gender equality and the Gender Equality Act provides for 40/60 per cent or 60/40 per cent representation of either sex in all decision making positions.

During the launch of the 50:50 Campaign early this year, Malawians were challenged to support women if the country is to move toward in the attainment of 50:50 representation in all sectors.

The campaign is geared towards boosting women’s empowerment and participation in positions.


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