Malawians against same-sex relationships, Afrobarometer survey reveals

A recent survey conducted by the Afrobarometer has revealed that majority of Malawians are against homosexuality acts.

In findings presented in Lilongwe on Tuesday by the Malawi Afrobarometer team, said the survey was carried out in June and sampled a total of 2,400 respondents, giving it a margin of error of +/-2% at the 95% confidence interval.

According to Professor Boniface Dulani of the Afrobarometer, the results are from “nationally representative survey, so we can extrapolate our findings on the entire population.”

“Overall, 94% of Malawians don’t think that same sex couples should have the right to marry and be in relationships,” results of the survey showed.

Lesbian kiss: Malawians are against homosexuality, according to survey

According to the survey results, disapproval of same-sex relationship is above 90% across the country whether by location, region or sex.

The results indicate that the highest disapproval rate is in peri-urban areas (99%) and lowest in cities (92%).

While the disapproval rates are almost identical among men (94%) and women (95%).

The survey results revealed that members of major political parties are conservative with ruling People’s Party (PP) supporters the most (99%) and  opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) the least (92%) .

Homosexual acts are illegal in Malawi but President Joyce Banda opened debate on whether the country should repeal its laws following pressure from some Western leaders that they could cut aid to countries which did not recognise gay rights.

Malawi Council of Churches unanimously agreed to oppose any easing of laws criminalising same-sex partnerships.

Campaigners demands gay rights

Two leading rights groups however asking people to treat those who have homosexual tendencies with respect and compassion said on Thursday.

Mrs Charity Salima, board member  of the technical working group for Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (CEDEP), told media practitioners at a training workshop that homosexuals must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity, and that every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

“Sexual minorities are there in Malawi,” said Salima at the media workshop  recently on sexual minority rights.

She said homosexuals “exist among us, some of them are our own brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties , friends and neighbours.”

Salima said  many people practising homosexuality include  “ pastors, priests, chiefs, civil servants, or our MPs .”

Purpose, goal of survey

Afrobarometer is an independent, non partisan social science research project organised as an African led International collaboration.

The purpose of the survey is “to measure popular perspectives on the social,  political, and economic environments in survey country and across Africa”.

Their goal is to “give the public a voice in policy making processes by providing high-quality public opinion data” to policy-makers, policy advocates and Civil Society Organisation, academics, the media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

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