50-50 Malawi Campaign to ensure more women win in 2019 elections

The 50-50 Campaign Management Agency, a consortium of civil society organisations (CSOs) running the campaign is due to be launched on April 6 2018 and has received a K1.1 billion financial support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy to ensure more women win in  2019 Tripartite Elections.

Team leader for the 50:50 Campaign, Viwemi Chavula
Malera: Political parties were custodians of the 50:50 Campaign
Major political parties in Malawi commit to increasing women participation

The 50:50 Malawi Campaign, on Tuesday held an interaction dinner with general secretaries of nine political parties including Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), United Independent Party (UIP) and People’s Party (PP) with a major focus on establishing  deliberate strategies parties have developed to improve women representation in elected positions.

Action Aid Malawi (AAM) executive director Grace Malera said political parties were custodians of the 50:50 Campaign because without their support, women participation in politics could not be increased.

She said the campaign wants to work closely with parties to ensure meaningful inclusion of women from councilor level to that of Member of Parliament.

With dominant challenges like discrimination, violence and lack of economic capacity frustrating the majority of women in politics, the consortium feels there is need for proper coordination and programming around the electoral cycle for the campaign to make a difference.

“The campaign wants to open the social space for women participation starting from primary elections to actual elections and beyond.

“This will require us working together with parties and individuals towards having a critical mass of women participation at all levels for the attainment of the country’s sustainable development,” Malera said.

Team leader for the 50:50 Campaign, Viwemi Chavula highlighted some of the actions political parties are supposed to take to improve women participation.

Some of the actions included having a deliberate female recruiting strategy for the elections, deliberate quotas and targets for women and development of a code of conduct for party meetings and events.

“Let us have these affirmative action steps in creating a political system that promotes women participation,” Chavula said.

MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said there was a need to have programmes that address people’s mindsets.

“There is a need to entrench the mindset that they should support women, in their capacity to deliver, not just because they are women,” he said.

Mkaka said political parties are always ready to promote equal participation but pointed out that women themselves should demonstrate the willingness to take up the challenge.

“Women have to prove that they can deliver because they will never get a sympathy vote. All what parties can do is to provide resources for the women to unleash their potential,” Mkaka said.

DPP deputy director of women Yacinta Chikaonda said the party would aim to have a deliberate policy to have a quota for women in various positions.

She said retention of women currently in Parliament was the first step for Malawians to realise that women could make good political leaders.

UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo said the party as it prepares for its convention, a fundamental constititutional amendment would be proposed to ensure the women’s wing is autonomous.

In Aford, the party said it is due to propose an amendment to the Constitution at its next convention that would ensure a 40 percent representation in NEC and other leadership levels.

It was PP’s treasurer general Yusuf Matumula’s proposal that for political parties to increase women participation in politics, the 50:50 Campaign should start during primary elections for more women to be nominated to contest.

The campaign has since planned to create an incubator for women to express themselves as they aspire to enter political leadership as well as offering trainings for women aspirants on to enhance their profiles, communicate better and advocate for more spaces for women in decision making.


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4 years ago

Its not not about men supporting women but rather encourage women to support each other. They tend to pull each other down.there are more women the they are men voters.

4 years ago

Not only should the campaign focus on changing the midst of men but also all women to start supporting each other. There are more women there are men voters. If only more women were to vote for their fellow women for a public office, Malawi wouldn’t have to have the challenge of equal gender representation. Women are so good at pulling each other down. The problem is not just men with wrong mindset but also women who don’t want to support other women.

Alex Suzgo
Alex Suzgo
4 years ago

So the team leader for a women focused or centred advocacy grouping is a man, but you want more women on political leadership roles? A slap on the face, right from your own organisations. You mean you couldn’t find a woman to lead your advocacy group?

kaka ni dada
kaka ni dada
4 years ago

Azimayi amakomedwa ndi chifukwa chake samavotelana chosecho alipo ambiri, sichina ayi kukonda mchira basi .

4 years ago

There will NEVER! I repeat, NEVER! Be such a thing as 50-50 participation in leadership as long as the earh endures…
Even the developed nations…or the best democracies in the world where all this 50-50 noise came from have not achieved this…and it is not coincedence.

4 years ago
Reply to  James

James, you must be a terrible misogynist. There are countries where there is 50:50 representation in politics, cabinet, parliament, business etc. Examples, from Scandinavia leading the way. This year Cambridge University has enrolled more girls than boys. In the west, women are becoming more educated than men. Has it occurred to you that in Malawi we now have women who are more educated, in high positions and who are rich ….than the average man. I mean all the uneducated men, opanda nzeru, who walk bare footed, opanda ndi ndalama zomwe. What do you say about that? In fact, there are… Read more »

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