Activists condemn Mutharika for failing to increase women ministers

Malawi women rights activists are up in arms against President Peter Mutharika for failing to increase the number of women in his 20 member cabinet.

Kaliya: Retrogressive not to increase female ministers

Kaliya: Retrogressive not to increase female ministers

Mutharika has maintained three female ministers in his reshufled cabinet  a far cry from the 50:50 female representation.

Jean Kalirani moved from Home Affairs to Gender and Social Welfare where its minister Patricia Kaliati has moved to ministry of information where she will be government spokesperson.

Grace Chiumia has retained her cabinet portfolio at Sports and Culture ministry.

Mutharika has axed a male cabinet minister Allan Chiyembekeza and hired another male minister Aggrey Massi who heads to Transport and Works minister as deputy.

NGO Gender Cordination Network executive director Emma Kaliya described the failure by Mutharika to increase the number of women in the cabinet as shameful and retrogressive.

“This is worrisome and shameful. He just gives lip service on these matters, this is retrogressive,” she said.

Political commentator at Chancellor College Henry Chingaipe said this was surprising because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto promises that the party would ensure equity in all appointments including the cabinet.

He said the president appoints people intto the cabinet on political considerations, saying this is why only three cabinet ministers are in the cabinet.

The Republican Consitution gives powers to the state president to appoint cabinet ministers and fire them without giving reasons.

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10 thoughts on “Activists condemn Mutharika for failing to increase women ministers”

  1. mulakho says:

    Azimayi kuvulavula nsalu mmutunso chimodzimodzi that is why APM don’t trust ladies, next reshuffle will be only one woman akweni coz she’s a lohmwe.

  2. Achiwechetaga says:

    Malawi needs performing ministers regardless of sex. A progressive individual should therefore analyse the appointment of the members of the new cabinet based on merit. It therefore sounds childish for any learned person to insert the sensitivity of gender into the necessity to steer the country into motion towards the right direction. Mwasowa zonena eti?

  3. The Analyst says:

    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    The issue of anyone feeling disadvantaged hence the need for special consideration or attention for “special” groups (howeverso defined) is not only misguided and ill-advised, but also irritating.

    What if APM feels comfortable in the company of men than women; should he be forced to choose women for want of balancing gender issues? I believe expertise matters more than gender, religion, tribe, region e.t.c

    To be honest, more often than not . . .
    . . . The issue of gender is more about more for women than equality of men and women. That is, if the cabinet had more women than men, these “activists” wouldn’t at all complain or ask why there are more women than men.
    . . . Thus, unless our focus changes, the status quo will be hard to change.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Chilungamo nachi . . .
    . . . Given the same support and environment for both girl and boys to set out on an academic journey in Malawi; the boy-child is more likely to go further with education than the girl-child. Atsikana ambiri kusakhazikika mmaganizo.

    In the end, when one is picking a candidate from a pool of human resources, he/she is more likely to pick up a male than female candidate.
    . . . What needs to be done, therefore; is encourage both boys and girls to work not just hard by even harder in life, and for the girl child not to be swayed by short-term delusions hence lose focus of the long-term goal.

    Otherwise, we may wait for a long time, if we hope that someone will be picked for anything just by the mere fact that they are male or female.
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O

  4. Jim Fuscher says:

    The problem I see here about Kaliya and Chingaipe is the way they understand gender equality. Much as I appreciate that Kaliya is a gender activist, she doesn’t fully understand what it means by gender equality. The understanding of both Kaliya and Chingaipe about gender equality is that there should be equal numbers of women and men. Gender equality means having a representation from both women and men regardless of numbers. The only difference comes in when you talk of gender balance which is totally different from gender equality. So, I am not sure about the problem that Kaliya and Chingaipe have to believe that the decision by Mutharika to appoint three women into his cabinet does not add up – are they talking about gender equality or gender balance? In my view Mutharika has done the right thing, as long as the cabinet is composed of both women and men, otherwise filling the cabinet with women would not make any difference. The man is looking at competence as opposed to numbers much as some of those ministers that have been retained to their ministerial positions or moved to other ministries are by large non-performers, but you have to understand how politics works – that may have a been a reward because they worked hard to get DPP into power or else they protected DPP’s interests when it was in the wilderness. Perhaps Chingaipe needs to go back to the DPP’s manifesto and re-read about inclusion of women and men. Does it talk about gender equality or gender balance? If it says the DPP will allow women’s participation, that automatically refers to gender equality because as it is when there is a cabinet meeting for instance the three three female ministers will participate is their discussions, but if they choose to keep quite the excuse cannot be that they have been outnumbered by men – No, but a mere choice to be non-participatory. By the way three women can make more sense in their discussions than a whole team of male ministers if they have the guts and the ability to articulate issues. Don’t be fooled by Rwanda, perhaps by making 50-50 representation of members of Parliament, that could be the way they interpret gender equality, which I am saying is wrong. and misleading.

  5. chete says:

    APART FROM APPOINTING A MALE DOMINATED MEMBER, PETER MUTHARIKA IS ALSO VERY NEPOTISTIC.

  6. Amufumu says:

    Most Females were not in prison with him

  7. Women decampaigner says:

    Will back the oldman here. We dont just have to do things for the sake of doing them we are in crisis and need solutions and not kitchen garbage which is just a luxury. Kungofuna potchukira basi.

  8. Phwisa says:

    The activist is short sighted. Muntharika hasnt come up with a new cabinet. He has just shifted (incase she doesnt know the meaning of ‘ reshufle’ ) the incubents. He has maintained same number of men and women. Activist yo akusowa chowapangila azimayi. Ayambitse sex workers NGO kuti azimayi akakhale ndi maudindo ambiri. Ma Director s

  9. zanga says:

    si za 50-50 campaign, its about who can perform, Nati azimayi sangakwanise, let them Be in the kitchen

  10. shesheshe says:

    So you wanted the president to include women in the cabinet
    just because they are women?????? A mayi Kaliya, I remember you wanted to resign after 2014 elections. You can do that now. Or just be chewing the money ku NGO yanuyo.

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