Friday, September 21, 2012

Women lose out in new Statutory Corporation boards’ list

President Joyce Banda has appointed new Statutory Corporations’ board
members, maintaining the practice of previous presidents by replacing
the bulk of members appointed by former president Bingu wa Mutharika.

This is according to a press release issued on September 17, and
signed by Deputy Chief Secretary to the Government, Hawa Ndilowe. The
appointments take effect from September 10.

One of the surprises in Banda’s new list of Board members is the
limited number of women, as men continue to dominate top government
positions. The President has just left the country for the 67th
Session of the United Nations General Assembly in the US, where she
will also be awarded by the African-America Institutes for championing
women’s rights and business leadership on September 26.

The other notable surprise is the paradigm shift to limit number of
traditional leaders appointed to the boards, some of whom include
Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlilima of Chikhwawa, T/A Dzoole, T/A
Kachindamoto,  T/A Chowe, and Paramount Kyungu.

Among the notable names making the list are Airtel Managing Director,
Saulos Chilima, who has been appointed as board member for struggling
Air Malawi, PeopleS Party politicians Jean Kamphale, Blantyre Water
Board member; Harry Mkandawire, as chairperson for Lilongwe Water
Board; lawyer Wapona Kita, Central Region Water Board member;
disability rights activist Mussa Chiwaula, who is the chairperson for
Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS).

Others are gender empowerment advocate Faustace Chirwa, who now chairs
Malawi Council for the Handicapped Board; Catholic University of
Malawi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Anacklet Phiri, as a member of the
Malawi Institute of Education board;   financial market expert Chikavu
Nyirenda, MBS board member; Rev. Levi Nyondo, Northern Region Water
Board (NRWB) chairperson; Salim Bagus, NRWB member; and Owen
Kankhulungo, National Industry Construction Council of Malawi board

Dr. Lazarus Chakwera chairs the Malawi National Council of Sports
Board, which also has TNM Public Relations and Sponsorship Manager
Wilma Chalulu, Dean Pinto, Gwynyth Chisale, Khrishna Achutan, Yasin
Osman, Julius Mithi and Grace Thipa as members.

One of the highlights of the board membership list will be the small
number of women appointed to various boards (excluding ex-official
members). For instance, out of the six members appointed to the Air
Malawi board, only two are women. The same goes for Blantyre Water
Board, where out of the eight members, three are women; Lilongwe Water
Board, two women out of eight members; Central Region Water Board,
where two of the six members are women; Malawi Institute of
Management, two women against four men.

The same goes for the Malawi Institute of Education, with two women
out of eight members; MBS, which has six male members without a woman;
Malawi College of Accountancy, which has seven men and no woman;
Malawi Accountancy Board, two women out of five members; NRWB, six men
no woman; National Industry Council of Malawi, with 10 male board
members and one woman, among other statutory corporation boards.
However, Macoha, whose board is chaired by Faustace Chirwa, has two
men and three women.