Gender activists Emma Kaliya has challenged advised authorities in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to follow the yardstick President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has set in promoting women to influential positions.
Kaliya, speaking to Nyasa Times on Friday, said it would be absurd if the recruitment authorities in MDAs decided to let the President down by not emulating his examples.
The renowned gender and women empowerment expert was reacting to recent women appointments by President Chakwera, including the appointment of Ms Colleen Zamba as the new Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC).
Zamba has replaced Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi who was relieved of his duties at the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) last Tuesday.
Kaliya commended President Chakwera for choosing a woman to replace Chikhosi.
“It’s his prerogative to identify and choose who suits where. But President Chakwera decided to choose a woman; and for that, he needs to be applauded,” she said.
Kaliya added that Chakwera is acting within the expected obligations of the State on the need to comply with the Gender Equality Act of 2013.
“As gender activists, we really applaud him for that and we do recognize the progress Malawi is making towards increasing the number of women in top positions. But we need measures for sustaining the momentum and this is where the role of recruitment authorities in government MDAs is critically needed to ensure there is sustainability in the appointment of women to leadership positions. It shouldn’t be the President alone, but everyone tasked with recruitment authority to ensure we walk the steps the President has taken on promoting women in Malawi,” narrated Kaliya.
In his comments, Team Leader for 50-50 Campaign Agency, Viwemi Chavula, said the onus is on MDAs now to emulate what President Chakwera is doing in fulfilment of the Gender Equality Act.
Chavula said the agency applauds the steps President Chakwera is taking to ensure more women are given the platforms to serve the nation.