While the Women Lawyers Association (WLA) has been blaming President Peter Mutharika for what it termed “gross disregard” of the Gender Equality Act, African Union (AU) has awarded the country for being among the best top 12 performers in efforts to bridge gender equality gap and promote women empowerment on the continent.
The Women Lawyers faults the country’s leader for blatantly violating the Constitution which supports the upholding of women’s rights by appointing few women to the cabinet.
Butat the 32nd Ordinary Session of the AU General Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Sunday Malawi received an award for its outstanding work in the category of ‘Strengthening domestic resource mobilization for development, poverty eradication and protection of women’s rights,’.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano received the award from AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The AU also recognised Malawi for its outstanding performance in the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment in 2017.
However, a report on gender composition in parastatals conducted by the NGO-Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) seen by Nyasa Times, established that only three of 28 parastatal boards sampled have complied with the Gender Equality Act of 2013.
The analysis indicates that Blantyre Water Board (BWB), Malawi Gaming Board (MGB) and Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) are the only boards whose appointments President Mutharika made in line with the Act, representing a 10.7 percent compliance rate.
Last year, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition petitioned the United Nations (UN) to strip Mutharika of his position as global champion for the United Nations’ (UN) HeforShe Campaign, saying he was not promoting gender equality.