LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil right group fighting for women rights on Friday, October 9, 2020 took to the streets demanding President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government embrace gender balance in public appointments.
Women protesters marched in the country’s major cities including Blantyre, Mzuzu and Lilongwe.
The marches organisers included Women Manifesto Movement and the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) along side 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.
Maggie Kathewera Banda of the Women’s Manifesto Movement said the grouping wants 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 added that the Chakwera administration’s failure to include enough women in public positions so far is a missed opposition in adherence to the laws.
Banda observed that there are many women who have the necessary qualifications to be appointed in parastatal boards.
She then urged donors to pressurize the government to comply with the Gender Equality Act.
The protesters however threaten 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.”
State House Press Secretary Brian Banda assured protesters that President Chakwera will address the concerns raised.
This is the first open demonstration Chakwera has faced after 100 days in power since his election as Malawi’s sixth president on June 23, 2020.