Malawi Congress Party (MCP) District Youth Governor for Mzimba North Franklin Hara says MCP will protect all its women aspirants from all forms of political violence as a champion of the 50:50 Campaign for more women leaders.
Hara said this in an interview in Mzuzu on Tuesday when commenting on the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and in responding to allegations that some unidentified men were threatening MCP shadow Councilor for Chibanja Ward, a Mrs Chikata, in Mzuzu City.
“MCP is a champion in the 50: 50 Campaign, in most of the primaries we held, most of the women have won. As a party we have put measures to protect women and we will support them fully with the Party machinery.
“Our leader [Dr Chakwera] stressed that women should be protected, maybe in other parties women will be harassed but in MCP we will protect them,” said Hara.
Human rights activists suggest that a large degree of violence that women aspirants face comes from governors of their political parties who intimidate the women and sometimes demand money and other unwarranted favours.
Cecilia Chivunga, Programme Officer for Tovwirane’s Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) programme, at a recent training of aspiring women aspirants in Mzuzu disclosed that the organization found that male district governors are sometimes among the major perpetrators of political violence against women aspirants.
“At Tovwirane we also engage the district governors because these women complain that the governors also perpetrate violence against the women,” said Chivunga.
This year, Malawi launched the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence on 25 November under the theme ‘End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work and Tertiary Institutions.’
The 16 days are commemorated from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination Violence against Women to December 10, the Human Rights Day.