Malawi far to achieve 50/50 campaign by 2015- CSOs

A recent study by Women in Politics and Decision Making Permanent Committee (WPDM PC) has revealed that women representation in decision making positions is very low in many institutions.

Chairperson of WPDM PC which is under Gender Coordination Network (GCN), Emmie Chanika at a press briefing held in Blantyre on Monday disclosed that some institutions are not aware of gender instruments that seek to promote women’s representations and participation in decision making.

“The survey shows low numbers of women employees holding decision making positions such as at managerial or supervisory level,” Chakanika said.

She explained that the report had singled out minimal qualifications held by women in the country which bars them from competing with their male counterpart, more drop- outs of females from colleges  and some jobs like construction as some of the reasons behind unsuccessful of the campaign.

Emmie Chanika: 50/50 far from being achieved

“Generally in this study, institutions have shown that there are no deliberate policies to recruit more women and further elevate them whenever is applicable to decision making positions. However, some respondents said they are equal opportunity employers and that the reason they have low numbers in decision making positions is due to low levels of education among women.

“The study recommends that there is need for more advocacy and lobbying efforts with private, public institutions including NGOs on women empowerment with regard to women’s representation and participation in decision making position,” said Chanika.

Programmes Coordinator for National Elections Systems Trust (NEST), Unandi Banda said looking at the findings of the research, there is need for interventions that should target root causes and build already existing efforts in the quest to ensure that numbers of women in decision making positions should rise.

Banda said Malawi as a country has a long way to go if it wants to achieve 50/50 campaign otherwise it will be national anthem until 2015.

“The road to the year 2015 is shortening day by day. The SADC protocol on gender and development including the MDGs point towards 2015 when the set targets are supposed to be met.

“Such being the case, it is imperative to fast track the interventions that would meaningfully help in satisfying the targets,” said Banda

Pacenet Executive Director, Steven Duwa said the study has revealed that only 35 percent of women are employed in public sector saying this shows that the institutions recruit few women as compared to men.

Duwa said according to the study, there is still need to engage more institutions so that they are aware of what needs to be done to ensure that Malawi moves in the right direction in the implementation of various gender instruments.

The baseline survey assessed ten government Ministries, Parastatals, NGOs, and other working places.

The main objective of the assessment was to find out the levels of representation of women in decision making positions in various sectors in Malawi.

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