NGO-GCN still pushing for 50+1


The NGO Gender Co-ordination Network (NGO-GCN) says Malawi should adopt the proportional representation electoral system to give female aspirants a high chance of getting elected.

The organisation argues that in countries such as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe which are still clinging to the old British First Past The Post system (FPTP), opposition to government development agenda is strong hence the system leaves a great majority out of government forcing government to continue politicking instead of ushering in developments.

Emma Kaliya : wants proportional representation

Speaking during a Dowa multi-party liaison committee meeting for 50:50 campaign at the boma, chairperson for NGO-GCN Emma Kaliya recommended the proportional representation system of electing leaders be adopted since it gives political parties a chance to put in deliberate policies of appointing women in key positions.

Kaliya added that it was sad when Members of Parliament (MPs) trashed down a proposal for nominated 28 seats for females, one per district as MPs and the 50+ 1 electoral reforms saying that demonstrated that the country is not ready for 50: 50 representation.

She thanked former president late Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda for nominating women as MPs making it to 31 percent and late professor Bingu wa Mutharika for changing the 1997 SADC declaration of 30 percent women representation to 50 percent.

The NGO-GCN chairperson said time is there for Malawi to achieve 50:50 campaign giving an example of Rwanda which is rated as high in female representation in key government positions.

Kaliya said women face a number of challenges when competing with men citing limited resources, hostile political environment and stereotypes which are still present among the communities and electorates hence a call for a complete change of mindset for the country not to lag behind in developments.

In his remarks, District Commissioner for Dowa, Alex Mdooko, appealed to politicians to go to the ground with issue based campaign and not castigating one another in order for peace, law and order to continue prevailing in the district and the country as a whole.

Mdooko said party ideologies should not separate Malawians in politics hence political tolerance should be a must, to achieve credible 2019 tripartite elections.

He reminded Malawians that since they voted for multipartism in 1994, they should know that more parties are still coming a development which require change of mindset.

The NGO-GCN and the Malawi Human Rights Resources Center (MHRRC) are implementing a 10 month 50:50 campaign project in Dowa and Ntchisi particularly in constituencies and wards with female aspirants and candidates with funding from Tilitonse amounting to MWK20 million.