CHRR demands 30% reservation of public procurement for women

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has faulted the Malawi Government for what it described as a lack of clear commitment by authorities at the seat of government at Capital Hill to enhancing the participation of women in public procurement.

The human rights watchdog has since demanded that the government should assume an affirmative action by reserving 30 percent of public procurement for women in an effort to address the glaring gender inequalities in the public procurement sector.

CHRR executive director Michael Kaiyatsa made the sentiments at the Business Women Summit, which took place at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Monday.

State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera graced the summit, which was held under the theme: Realizing Gender Responsive Procurement and Smart-Inclusive Financing.

And in his presentation titled ‘Enhancing Women’s Participation in Public Contracting’, Kaiyatsa stated that although public procurement takes up to 80 percent of the national budget, women or women-owned businesses win only one percent of contracts.

He cited the absence of specific measures targeting of women such as reservation schemes and capacity building initiatives as some of the obstacles hampering women inclusion in the sector.

“The challenges hindering women participation in public procurement include lack of adequate procurement skills by women, bureaucratic tendencies in registration and licensing and insistence by authorities on the use of previous experience and records to determine the capacity of bidders to be awarded contracts,” he said.

Kaiyatsa added that poor access to procurement information such as availability of opportunities and bid advertisements, sexual harassment and demand for sexual favours in return for contracts discourage many women from participating in public procurement and delays in payment for services rendered are also contributing to women’s failure to participate in public procurement.

He asked the government to seriously consider improving opportunities for women’s participation in public procurement by reserving a specific proportion of contracts for women owned businesses.

Kaiyatsa further challenged the government to train women entrepreneurs on how to access public information relating to public contracting opportunities.

“We recommend that public procurement oversight authorities and procuring entities should publish gender desegregated data regarding companies participating in public contracting. On the other hand, there is a need for the civil society organizations to focus on advocacy on policy and law reform to lobby for affirmative action to increase women’s participation in public contracting,” he said.

In his remarks, President Lazarus Chakwera criticized some people for allegedly politicizing loan disbursement under the National Economic Enhancement Fund (NEEF).

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Kanjedza
Kanjedza
22 days ago

So I can change my business to my wife’s name who is a house wife. I can be designated as manager and get a share of the 30%. Whole world is talking about gender equality and here in Malawi we are being gedner baised

Sikusinja
Sikusinja
22 days ago

Has CHRR done a research to see how much businesses were given to women. Has CHRR made an enquiry at PPDA to find out what percentage of registered organizations there are owned by women.
How

Mogasa
Mogasa
22 days ago

women this women that. Mwaonjeza

Liars exposed
22 days ago
Reply to  Mogasa

You are very correct. Do we want everything to go to women? It’s becoming boring now about women this, women that. In the end men will lose trust in women as their demans are unlimited.

Baba Tunde
Baba Tunde
22 days ago

“Kaiyatsa further challenged the government to train women entrepreneurs on how to access public information relating to public contracting opportunities”
If anyone is clueless on how to even access information, that person is not fit to be awarded a contract. And these men purporting to help women don’t know what they’re doing. Mr President, you wasted your precious time listening to hogwash here!

Assange WikiLeaks
22 days ago

Kodi mukusowa zochita ku HRDC? You are always making unnecessary demands. We will stop taking you seriously.

JoshStMichael
JoshStMichael
22 days ago

Ine ndamva ngati CHRR not HRDC

Black berry
Black berry
22 days ago

It seems everything will be given to women for free.

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
22 days ago

There were and are still many women contractors who are offered construction works by capital hill. The problem is that they are used for the purpose of syphoning government coffers as they did with cash gate.Therfore we have to tread carefully as not all contracts are genuine unless vetted by the department public procument.

Baba Tunde
Baba Tunde
22 days ago

Za ziii! This is how we end up with substandard services. I say do not look st gender! Just award contracts to the best bidder! THese are our taxes and what we want is value for money! Do not bring in some useless criteria

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