CSOs Call for Quicker Implementation of Gender Equality Act

"We have a law that aims at empowering women, but women themselves are not empowered."

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NGOGCN Chairperson Emma Kaliya said that is it unfortunate that as a country, “we have a law that aims at empowering women, but women themselves are not empowered.”

The NGO Gender Coordinating Network (NGOGCN) bemoaned the slow pace of the implementation of Section 11 of the Gender Equality Act of 2013.

Speaking during a press conference in Lilongwe, NGOGCN Chairperson Emma Kaliya said it is unfortunate that as a country “we have a law that aims at empowering women, but women themselves are not empowered.”

The Gender Equality Act is aimed at advancing gender equality through the promotion of equal integration, influence, empowerment, dignity and opportunity for men and women in all functions of society. It is also meant to prohibit and protect citizens from sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and other harmful practices.

“This is a critical piece of legislation that can assist in improving gender equality including women’s inclusion in decision-making positions in the public service. The GEA 2013 provides for a quota in Section 11 which states: recruiting and appointing authorities will recruit and appoint no less than 40 percent,  and not more than 60 percent, of either sex,” Kaliya said.

Kaliya said she appreciated the gesture by Malawi President Peter Mutharika in embracing the HeforShe campaign at its inauguration.

Other CSO leaders who spoke include Executive Director of Malawi Women’s Lobby Fostace Chirwa, the past Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Committee Emmie Chanika, Steve Duwa of the Malawi Electoral Support Network, and Unandi Banda.

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