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Lawyers, CSOs engage MHRC on Peter Mutharika Cabinet

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

After presenting a letter to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) and getting no response to their call for inclusion of women in key positions in the government, Women Lawyers Association of Malawi (WLA) Tuesday lodged an official complaint to Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC).

Speaking after officially lodging their complaint, WLA Lilongwe Chapter President, Hilda Soko, said they want the commission to file for judicial review of the President’s appointments in the event that there is no positive action by OPC.

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“We came to lodge a formal complaint against the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) for non-compliance with Section 13 of the Constitution by failing to uphold gender equality through full participation of women in all spheres of the Malawian society on the basis of equal opportunities between men and women,” Soko said.

NGO Gender Coordination Network National Coordinator, Innocent Hauya, accused the commission of being passive when it comes to handling issues concerning women in the country.

MHRC’s Winston Mwafulirwa said, they would take action on the matter.

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“Malawi Human Rights Commission will look into the matter, and we will take this matter seriously,” Mwafulirwa said.

Stakeholders have condemned Mutharika’s Cabinet arguing that it has overlooked women. The 20-member Cabinet has three women.

When WLA presented the letter of complaint to OPC on November 12, State House Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani promised that the President would attend to the matter.

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