Women Lawyers petition president

Women and Law in Southern Africa would like to commend the Women Lawyers Association of Malawi on the petition they presented to the Office of the President yesterday (12th Nov, 2018). The said petition, would like an increase in the number of women appointed into the cabinet as well as other boards and the firing of the Deputy Minister of Homeland Security. As an organization, we have embarked on a mission to help women parliamentarians to retain their seats as such this petition is one we fully stand behind. As He-for-She Champion Prof. Peter Mutharika has vowed his commitment in promoting gender equality as such his appointment of the new Cabinet consisting of 17 men and 3 women is questionable. According to the Gender Equality Act, an appointing authority is required to appoint no less than 40% and no more than 60% of either sex. However, the recent Cabinet represents 15% women and 85% men, contrary to the Gender Equality Act. As elections are coming up, and there are various groups championing the retaining of women parliamentarians to ensure equal participation in decision making, the actions of the president do very little to ensure us that as a country, we are committed to gender equality.
At various political rallies, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Homeland Security uses derogatory and foul language in regard to women. The actions and words used by Mchacha at rallies are a form of gender based violence and as such should not be tolerated. As someone entrusted with the protection of all Malawians, including women, Mchacha should lead by example in respecting and uplifting women and not be the champion of violating women. As we will be entering into the 16 days of Activism, we hope that the president will do the right thing to remind us of his role as a He-for-She champion by not only hearing the petition but by acting in line with the wishes of the petition.

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