Malawian women are planning to protest against their alleged side-lining from political and governance affairs, as the honeymoon for President Lazarus Chakwera appears to be fast coming to an end.
In what is expected to be an indictment for Chakwera, who came to power with great promise in June, the protesters, under the umbrella group Women Manifesto Movement, plan to stage marches on Friday, 9 October 2020. The marches will be held in the administrative capital, Lilongwe, as well as commercial capital, Blantyre, and Mzuzu.
Organisers say the marches are meant to push Chakwera to fulfil provisions of the Gender Equality Act, which stipulates that there should be 60:40 representation of men and women, respectively, in terms of appointments into public office.The women said they want to take a stand against what they perceive to be systemic discrimination against them in public appointments.
Chakwera, who completed his first 100 days in office this week, has come under fire for failing to walk the talk in empowering women, despite electoral promises that his administration would promote women to different positions.
In a 31-member cabinet that he appointed in July, only 12 women, or 38.7 percent, were women.This narrowly missed the 40 percent threshold he had earlier promised during his campaign for State House. He also missed the target during appointments to statutory boards, with only nine out of 60 boards being chaired by women.