According to the 2014 Global Gender Gap Report released Wednesday, Malawi is a top performer in the region, mainly on primary education.
The country is also among the best improvers in the region in promoting women equality in the workplace since 2006.
Globally, Malawi is ranked 34 out of 142 countries.
“Based on the nine years of data available for the 111 countries that have been part of the report since its inception, the world has seen a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace,” reads the report in part.
Rwanda is the strongest performer in the region, ranking seventh in the global top 10.
“Its high ranking can be explained by its strong political empowerment performance and good rankings for economic participation and opportunity,” it adds.
Rwanda is followed by Burundi, South Africa and Mozambique. The gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60 percent.
On Monday, some local gender activists faulted President Peter Mutharika’s selection of diplomats, saying the country is retrogressing in terms of gender balance.
Mutharika hired eight people to diplomatic missions of which only one is a woman.
He also has a male dominated cabinet of 17 men and only three women.
“I am very sad with what the President has done. This was his opportunity to show that he recognises women,” said Emma Kaliya, Executive Director of NGO Gender Network.
Kaliya observed that there are qualified women who can equally take such appointment.
On her part, Emmie Chanika, Executive Director of Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC), said selection of diplomats demonstrates that the country’s leadership has a wrong perception towards women.
She said it is high time gender activists fought harder in order to have issues of gender balance incorporated in the process of making such appointments.
“If they are ignoring us do you think they may listen and consider us woman? We are so culturally rotten, the entire society is rotten hence our leaders do not care about women,” said Chanika.