Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has reduced by 25 percent the nomination fees for female aspirants for the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections slated for October 17, 2017.
Media and Public Relations Director for MEC, Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the Commission has made the bold decision to encourage more women to take part in the public affairs of the country.
Following the reduction, male candidates will pay with K200, 000 while female candidates would pay K150, 000.
As for councillorship, male candidates will be paying K20, 000 while their female counterparts will pat with K15, 000.
“We have done this to ensure that there is fair representation of both men and women in the forthcoming by-elections,” Mwafulirwa said.
He said currently aspirants are collecting nomination papers which are expected to be submitted to MEC secretariat on September 8, 2017.
Commenting on the matter, Associate Professor of Political and Administrative Studies at Chancellor College, Mustafa Hussein welcomed the decision by MEC saying the move underlines the importance of placing women in key political positions.
“Women form majority of the Malawian population and the world at large. For democracy to grow, women ought to be given space in key political positions. Issues that affect women can be well understood and dealt by women themselves. So putting them in such strategic positions is the right move in the direction,” he said.
Pan African Educators Network (Pacenet) expressed discontent at the sluggish pace at which Malawi is making towards attaining 50 percent of women representation in elective offices and other positions of influence.
MEC intends to hold by-elections in Nsanje Lalanje, Lilongwe Msonzi North and Lilongwe City South East constituencies.