Malawi on Thursday launched the new initiative to galvanize the support of leaders to bring an end to the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls around the world.
Launching the campaign at Parliament Building in Lilongwe, President Peter Mutharika pledged to ensure that women and men are equal and have the right to equal opportunities in all the sectors of national development.
The Malawi leader said “women and men have equal rights and opportunities in employment, decision making, politics, private sector, public life and indeed religious and civil society undertakings.”
Before addressing the gathering President Mutharika signed a declaration in support of the HeForShe campaign which he was supported in solidarity by a dozen of male members of parliament who also signed.
Leader of opposition in Parliament Dr Lazarus Chakwera also signed the declartion.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Chakwera said HeForShe asks men to stand up for women’s rights and gender equality, to address inequality and discrimination faced by women worldwide.
“There is a need for men to be part of this initiative, There is need for a conscious effort to keep women’s voices front and centre of these campaigns,” he said.
The Theme of the campaign is “I Say No to Violence against Women and Girls. Promote Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment”.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati urged the women in the country to be the owners in spearheading peace in the country and not be the perpetrators of violence amongst men and fellow women.
Kaliati also thanked the legislators for passing the Trafficking Persons Bill and the President for ascending the Marriage, Divorce and family Bill which is now a law.
UN Women Resident Representative, Alice Shackle ford acknowledged Governments efforts in supporting gender balance, thereby pledging full support in championing the campaign.