The Women Lawyers Association of Malawi (WLA) are still putting pressure on President Peter Mutharika to rescind his appointment of ruling Democrtaic Perogressive Party (DPP) Regional Governor for the South Charles Mchacha into the Cabinet and consider increasing women ministers.
The Women Lawyers Association is demanding that Mutharika should rescind Mchacha’s appointment, accusing him of demeaning women participating in public affairs and holding different political views.
They have since been joined by other civil society organisations to petition tax-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) to intervene on the appointment of only three women in a Cabinet of 20 ministers, saying it is a retrogressive step in the fight for women empowerment.
The Women Lawyers Association and the NGO Gender Coordination Network, an umbrella body for 54 NGOs promoting gender equality and women empowerment, accuses the global champion of He-For-She campaign of flouting Section 11 of the Gender Equality Act which requires of any Public Sector appointing or recruiting authority to ensure there’s “no less than 40 percent and no more than 60 percent of either sex in any department in the Public Sector.”
Mutharika is also accused of appointing a Cabinet contrary to the various international instruments on women’s rights and gender equality such as the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, the African Protocol on Women’s Rights and the Sadc Protocol on Gender and Development.
Presenting the petition on Tuesday to MHRC, Hilda Kaluwa the president of Women Lawyers , Lilongwe chapter, said Section 8 of the Gender Equality Act gives the commission powers to enforce the Act.
“We have petitioned MHRC to help us deal with this since the Constitution gives the commission mandate to investigate rights violations,” said Kalua.
MHRC’s deputy executive secretary Winston Mwafulirwa said they would act on the matter.