Gender Equality Act faces hurdles
Government has conceded that implementation of the Gender Equality Act is facing hurdles.
Secretary for Gender, Esmie Kainja, told a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday in Lilongwe that statistics show that women lag behind in all sectors of national development.
“For example Parliament has 16 percent women representation, 11 percent in local councils, public sector has 24 percent and the representation in the private sector is worse,” she said.
The stakeholders, including human rights activists and the UNFPA, were meeting in Lilongwe to take stock of the Gender Equality Act to ensure gender equality for both men and women.
The stakeholders were reviewing progress made in the implementation of the Gender Equality Act and review of an implementation and monitoring plan for 2017- 2020, among other issues.
The Gender Equality Act exists “to promote gender equality, equal integration, influence, empowerment, dignity and opportunities, for men and women in all functions of society….”
Kainja said government is committed to promoting gender equality through implementation of various laws, policies and programmes aimed at empowering women and the girl child and other vulnerable groups.
The programmes, she said, include the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act; the Deceased Estates Act; the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act; the Gender Equality Act and the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act.
“Dissemination of the laws is ongoing through simplified and translated laws. The traditional leaders are developing and enforcing by-laws using the simplified versions,” she said.
She said the goal of the National Gender Policy is to reduce gender inequalities and enhance participation of women, men, girls and boys in social economic development processes.
“The National Gender Policy is an implementation tool of the gender related laws including the Gender Equality Act. The Ministry is also implementing the Early Childhood and Development Policy and the Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children Policy, which are child focused,” she said.
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