Kaliati touts DPP’s gender credentials

Director of Women affairs and Parliamentarian for Malawi’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Patricia Kaliati on Thursday received cheers and ululation from patrons who attended an inter-party gender rally at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe.

The event was organised by Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD) where party leaders explained their efforts in promoting women candidates in the three tier 2014 national polls.

Representatives of various political parties spoke at the event.

But when Kaliati took to the podium, she received a wild applause signalling that she was a popular amongst the women and the audience.

In her address, Kaliati gifted with good public speaking, said her party made notable progress in women empowerment and gender promotion.

Kaliati: DPP promoting women

“DPP’s record of gender equality promotion and women empowerment efforts is very sound,” she said, assuring that more female candidates will be fielded in the next election from counsellors to parliamentarians.

She said late president Bingu wa Mutharika set the tone in 2009 when he picked a first ever female to be his running mate in presidential race – Joyce Banda- who is the incumbent following the death of Mutharika on April 5, 2012.

“In DPP we fully recognizes that gender equality and women empowerment is globally recognized as a human right and integral issue to achieving Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), “said Kaliati, a former minister of information.
She said DPP administration pushed the role of women to a pivotal position in governance at all levels and that if voted back in power next year, the party will ensure that gender equality is achieved by 2015.

Kaliati said DPP administration development the National Gender Policy, implementation of a programme on increasing women’s participation in politics and decision making which launched a 50:50 campaign for the 2009 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections resulting in an increase from 14 percent to 22 percent of women parliamentarians.

Other initiatives were the enactment of the 2006 Prevention of Domestic Violence Act No.5 aimed at eliminating gender based violence occurring within the domestic arena; and to provide for effective legal remedies.

Facilitation was  also been made on engendering of policies in the general public, private and Non-Governmental-Sectors such as Land Policy, Transport Policy, Reproductive Health  Policy, HIV and AIDS Policy and the Re-admission Policy among others by the same administration.

Even a review of gender related laws including the Deceased Estates (Wills, Inheritance and Protection) Bill and the Marriage, Divorce  and Family Relations Bill is another notable milestone.

Kaliati said DPP promotes what late Mutharika taught Malawians that women are not just meant to be in the kitchen to cook meals for men.

Late Muthatrika appointed women in high ranking decision making positions including Mary Nangwale as first Malawi woman Inspector General of Police, first Malawi woman Attorney  General Jane Ansah, first Malawi woman Vice President Joyce Banda, first Director of Public Prosecution Rose Kanyuka among others.

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