Protesters demand gender equality in public appointments

Malawians on Friday took to the streets to demand the Lazarus Chakwera administration to stop gender discrimination in public appointments.

The protesters, mostly women, marched in Blantyre, Mzuzu and Lilongwe. The Women Manifesto Movement and the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) organized the protests. They were joined by other organisations such as Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Youth and Society.

The protests were sparked by the low number of women in the boards for 67 parastatals which Chakwera appointed last month.

Protesters

Maggie Kathewera Banda of the Women’s Manifesto Movement said women want fulfillment of the Gender Equality Act which stipulates that there should be equal representation of both men and women in various positions.

NGO-GCN chairperson Barbara Banda said the Chakwera administration’s failure to include enough women in public positions so far is a missed opposition in adherence to the laws.

She added that there are many women who have the necessary qualifications to be appointed in parastatal boards.

“Representation of women in boards is important because they can be able to articulate issues that affect their fellow women,” said Banda.

She then urged donors to pressurize the government to comply with the Gender Equality Act.

According to the activists, they will take the matter to court if Chakwera fails to reconstitute the boards in order to include more women.

The demonstrations were taking place under the banner: “No to discrimination against Women in Public appointments, Yes to gender equality and rule of law.”

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