50/50 campaigners throw in the towel


By Yohane Symon:

Five months before Malawians go to the polls, one of the civil society organisations campaigning for increased women’s participation in politics has admitted that it will be impossible for the country to achieve 50:50 equal representation in parliamentary and Local Government elections.

Pan-African Civic Educators Network Executive Director, Steve Duwa, raised the fears on the sidelines of a meeting with United Democratic Front (UDF) area committee members for Mangochi Nkulu Constituency.


The meeting, which was held with support from United Nations Women, was aimed at drumming up support for Aisha Mambo, who is expected to compete in UDF primary elections to represent the party on May 21.

Duwa said preliminary findings on how women have fared in primary elections in Malawi Congress Party and Democratic Progressive Party primary elections present a negative picture, proving that 50/50 representation will not be achieved.

“We must admit that the results have not been what we anticipated. Women we thought would win failed to make it during the primaries, which has moved us to come to terms with the fact that we will not be able to achieve our goals.


“Apart from facing competition from [male] candidates, women have also been facing competition from party leaders at various levels,” he said.

But Duwa is optimistic that women who have made it in primary elections would win during the elections.

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