Malawi women to protest over discrimination in public appointments

APA-Lilongwe (Malawi)

Malawian women have given notice of plans to stage protests on Friday against their alleged side lining from political and governance affairs, as the honeymoon for President Lazarus Chakwera appears to be fast coming to an end.

In what is expected to be an indictment for Chakwera who came to power with great promise in June, the protesters, under the umbrella group Women Manifesto Movement, plan to stage marches in the administrative capital Lilongwe as well as commercial capital Blantyre and Mzuzu.

Organisers say the marches are meant to push Chakwera 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.

The women said they want to make a stand against what they perceive to be systemic discrimination against them in public appointments.

Chakwera, who this week completed his first 100 days in office, 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 60 boards being chaired by women.


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