Monday, June 2, 2014
THE DPP MANIFESTO AND GENDER EQUALITY, WOMEN AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES IN MALAWI
NGO-GENDER COORDINATION NETWORK PRESS STATEMENT
NGO-Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) is a grouping of gender and human rights NGOs who are active in promoting gender equality and equity including equal participation of women in political and public decision making positions.
The NGO-GCN would like to take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the Right Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) on being elected President and Vice President respectively, of the Republic of Malawi.
The NGO-GCN is encouraged to note that the DPP pledged in their manifesto “to walk the talk and turn their development promises into real benefits for the people”. The NGO-GCN notes that there are a number of provisions in the DDP Manifesto which have a critical bearing on the enjoyment and realization of women’s rights in Malawi. The NGO-GCN therefore looks forward to the implementation of the promises that the DPP made in their 2014 Manifesto in relation to gender and participation of women in national development. The promises made by the DPP in their manifesto on gender, women
and development processes include the following:
EXTRACTS FROM THE DPP 2014 MANIFESTO
DPP Manifesto Principles and Guidelines: No person in Malawi will be denied basic rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. The Malawi Constitution will serve as the basis of the DPP’s political, economic and social transformation. The DPP shall adopt political structures in which all interest groups - the traditional chiefs, religious leaders, the business community, the teachers, the women, the youth, the elderly and the disabled, are fully represented and are given the voice at appropriate level in the
Chapter 7 Public / Civil Service: The DPP will ensure gender balance and equality of opportunity in the public/civil service. On matters of recruitment, training and promotions, the DPP government will ensure that the numbers of men and women are comparable to one another. At leadership levels, the numbers shall be equal.
Chapter 11 Separation of Powers: The Executive: There will be established an effective Cabinet of 20 capable men and women, including Deputies, that will be accountable for their activities. A proper gender balance shall be observed to ensure women are fully represented in the National Assembly, the Cabinet, and the civil service and in all public institutions and organizations. The legislature: All efforts will be made to have as many women representatives in the legislature as possible, in line with the 50-50 representation that DPP committed to.
Chapter 22 Women and Development: The thrust of the DPP policy will be to accord women full recognition and unimpeded access to all aspects of Malawi's development. The DPP condemns the marginalization and discrimination of women in the development process. We shall, therefore, intensify programmes aimed at removing illiteracy, underemployment and exploitation of women. DPP shall also place the highest priority on increasing the number of women in responsible policy-making positions.
The DPP Government will not tolerate the abuse of women in any form including discrimination and gender based violence. Women will therefore be respected, protected and facilitated to play a more positive role in our country. Specifically, the following measures will be implemented:
Genuinely recognize women as equal partners in development in every field of economic and political endeavour and ensure that they are supported to become Company Executives, Board members, Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers just to mention a few;
Establish a clear national policy on women in development and in business;
Identify and disseminate information on new opportunities for women to increase trade in Malawi, Africa and the rest of the world;
Support the Gender Coordination Network, the National Association of Women in Business
and other women organizations to provide an enabling forum of women entrepreneurship in
commodity trade or trade-related services in banking and finance, insurance, transport, cargo operations, design, production development, to provide a new dimension for Malawi women in international trade;
Continuously review and enact strong legislation to prevent the abuse and battering of
women and to protect them from property grabbing and impoverishment of the women by
relatives following the death of a spouse.
Chapter 33 Guarantees and Safeguards: The DPP will continue to promote the role of women in business, in development and in the cultural heritage of our country. The DPP shall increase women representation in the Parliament, the Cabinet, the Civil Service and all aspects of Malawi's development.
The DPP will continue to encourage non-governmental organizations registered in Malawi to engage in a constructive dialogue with Government to enable them to play a more positive role in the development of our country.
The NGO-GCN welcomes this invitation to engage in constructive dialogue with the DPP led Government with regard to women’s rights as enshrined in the Malawi Constitution; ratified by the Malawi Government under the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and other international legal instruments and as recently translated by the Malawi Gender Equality Act. The NGO -GCN looks forward to the DPP living up to the promises made in their Manifesto as highlighted above and wishes the President, Vice President and the new Government the best success.
Signed :Emma Kaliya, NGO-GCN Chairperson
Name: Victor Maulidi, Network Coordinator
Dated: 02 June, 2014