Gender activists protest against bias in Malawi public appointments

APA-Lilongwe (Malawi)

Malawian gender activists took to the streets on Friday to demand an equal stake between women and men in the governance of the country in a slap in the face for President Lazarus Chakwera who ascended to power more than three months ago on a promise of equality for all.

Hundreds of placard-carrying protestors, under the banner of the Women Manifesto Movement, marched in the major cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu to pressure Chakwera to consider more females in his appointments to public positions.

The activists, who included both women and men, accused Chakwera of failing to fulfil provisions of the Gender Equality Act that stipulate that there should be 60:40 representation of men and women, respectively, in terms of appointments into public office.

Chakwera has come under fire for failing to walk the talk in empowering women despite electoral promises that his administration would promote women to different positions.

In a 31-member cabinet that he appointed in July, only 12 women or 38.7 percent were women.

This narrowly missed the 40 percent threshold he had earlier promised during his campaign for State House.

He also missed the target during appointments to statutory boards, with only nine out of 67 boards being chaired by women.


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