Activists calls for more efforts in empowering Malawi women

Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) has called for renewed efforts in promoting the welfare of women in the country as the country assess Beijing Platform for Action after 25 years of adoption.

Seasoned human rights activist Emma Kaliya delivering her keynote address

MHRRC executive director Emma Kaliya made the call on Tuesday during the Civil Society Consultations meeting on Beijing Platform for Action held in Blantyre.

She said despite some progress being made in the country more needs to be done in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.

“As you aware that the World is celebrating 25 years of Beijing Platform for Action and the UN through UN women has put in place some processes for women across the world to contribute to issues bordering Beijing 25,” Kaliya added.

The Consultation meeting in Blantyre drew women from different sectors to look into Malawi’s performance on the Beijing Platform for Action on which it has an obligation on issues to do with women in the country.

“The gathering has been done to solicit views from women in different sectors of the society on what they think has been the progress made in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action,” Kaliya said.

The meeting discussed women and their economic empowerment and further discussed success and gaps.

“We had so many thematic areas to discuss some of them include violence against women and girls,” she added.

Director expressed gratitude with the appointment of high court judges for making it to 50:50 gender representations.

“This is one of the thematic areas of 12 critical areas of Beijing Platform for Action as the issue of women in decision making position is crucial,” she said.

Kaliya acknowledged the recent appointment of high court judges as a land mark in this country because it has never happened before.

“It is the first time we are having a 50:50 representation,” the MHRRC director added as President Lazarus Chakwera this week appointed Justice Ivy Kamanga to serve as Justice of the Supreme Court,

Kamanga is among the newly appointed four Supreme Court justices.

The President also appointed Agnes Patemba, Violet Chipao, Annelime Kanthambi and Vikochi Chima, Maureen Kondowe, Charlote Wezi Malonda have been appointed High Court judges.

The six women are among the 12 newly appointed judges of the High Court.

Executive Director for Women Legal Resource Center (Wolrec), Maggie Kathewera Banda noted that Malawi has taken some strides in helping women in socio, economic aspect.

“One of the major successes in the country has been the fact that the country has been able to come up with laws on gender and I think we have a number of examples which include the Prevention Domestic Violence Act, Gender Equality Act, Domestic and Deceased Estate Act,’ she said .

Kathewera said despite moving forward the country’s record on gender based violence is not impressive.

“But despite the progress being made we also have some challenges because cases of gender based violence are still taking place despite being on the ground doing sensitization to Malawians,” she added.

The Beijing Platform for Action has 12 key areas which include women and poverty, education and training of women, women rights, women and the media, women and the environment, violence against women, women and health.

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