Govt reaffirms commitment to promoting women’s rights

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The Malawi government says it is committed to promoting rights of women in the country.

This follows receipt of Women’s Manifesto by the ministry of gender, disability and social welfare on Friday in the commercial city of Blantyre.

Banda presenting the manifesto to Sibande

Women’s Manifesto was launched last month at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe by several gender platforms under the tag Women’s Manifesto Movement (WOMAN).

According to the movement, the manifesto aims at driving the agenda for women so that they should keep on receiving adequate attention from duty bearers.

Speaking after receiving the anifesto, McAllan Sibande who is director of administration in the ministry of gender, disability and social welfare said the manifesto is key because it complements efforts which were about to be implemented .

“The role of the ministry is to coordinate activities so the government through the ministry will make sure that we sensitize key stakeholders to continue promoting gender issues and we will make sure that the manifesto is implemented,” said Sibande.

Executive director of Women Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec) Maggie Kathewera Banda said the manifesto focuses on issues of education, health, economic empowerment, agriculture, as well as politics and governance.

Banda said in most cases women have been collectively labelled as lazy people who are unfit for public office a perception which she said the movement is against through championing for equal representation of women in all sectors, through the 50:50 Campaign.

Banda added that the Women’s Manifesto would be a point of reference to holding duty-bearers accountable in fulfilment of women’s rights as contained in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.

She said after the 2019 tripartite elections and beyond, the manifesto will also be used to demand commitment from political leaders and other duty-bearers with regard to the fulfilment of women’s rights,

Women Movement held its first ever Women’s Assembly in November, 2018 with women representing all sectors in the society aimed at developing a manifesto document that would help in advocating for women’s issues.

Among the organizations that supported the initiative are Oxfam, HIVOS, Action Aid, 50:50 Management Agency, Governance Gender Justice Development and IM Swedish Development Partner.

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