Written by Brian Kanyenda-Smash
The Non-Governmental Organisation Gender Coordination Network–NGO-GCN has urged the president elect Peter Mutharika to ensure 50-50 inclusion of women in all government departments and agencies including cabinet as he ascends to power.
NGO-GCN says Mutharika should be on forefront in observing that women’s rights are being protected and promoted.
In the statement signed by network’s Chairperson Barbara Banda and Network Coordinator Innocent Hauya says women in the country still face numerous challenges including public’s immunity neglecting women the opportunity to lead in decision making positions.
“NGO-GCN wishes to congratulate His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for being declared as the officially elected President of Malawi. We hope that in your term of office, you will respect, protect and promote women’s rights in line with the constitution, the Gender Equality Act, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) through support to women in parliament, public and private service, political parties and most importantly in public appointments beginning with the cabinet,” says part of the statement.
Banda in the statement further hailed Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) vigilance for conducting credible, free and fair elections despite some minor discrepancies.
However, the network expressed concern over some female Members of parliament who failed to retain their seats in parliament saying this is setback to achieving 50-50 campaign.The statement which has been cosigned by the network’s Coordinator Innocent Hauya has encouraged Mutharika government to provide conducive environment for women in all government sectors by introducing quota in appointing people in various positions.
“We urge the President to uphold the 60/40 gender quota in all his public appointments including the three arms of Government. While the executive head is automatically male as per the gender of the president elect, the appointment of either the Chief Justice or Speaker of parliament who respectively head the Judicial and legislative arms of Government should be gender sensitive as aspired by the law.”