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‘Malawi not doing well on gender equality’

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Malawi government has conceded that much is not being done to improve the gap in having women up to 40 percent in decision making positions compared to men as stipulated in the Gender Equality Act of 2013.

Section 11 of the act specifies that an appointing or recruiting authority in the public service shall appoint no less than 40 percent and not more that 60 percent of either sex in any department in the public service.

But according to the Director of Gender in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Peter Msefula, despite the enactment of the act, three years down the line not much has improved.

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As of 2015 the public service had about 42, 720 women representing 24 percent against their counterparts who are at 76 percent according to a special analysis by the World Bank in its Malawi economic monitor report.

“We have not really done much apart from just orienting the public sector institutions and other recruitment institutions. We are also in the process of disseminating the act to the masses so that people should be aware of the provisions in the act,” he said.

Msefula added that the challenge has been that most girls are not able to complete education at the higher level which makes in achieving equal levels in employment.

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Msefula was speaking in Blantyre during a motivation talk to women in the public service to help one another in making sure the provision on employment in the Gender Equality Act is adhered to in the country.

One of the speakers, Vice Principal of the Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), Nancy Chitela agreed that the challenge is emanating from the education foundation.

She said it is clear during selection of female students to pursue different programmes into the college where the figures are not as impressive.

She said as Unima, they set up deliberate policies such as 50/50 selection of female and male students to ensure female students have equal chances.

“But when you go at the selection level you find out that maybe only 20 percent of female students have applied to a particular programme, hence we are forced to get more male students as compared to females,” she said.

In the 2015/201 6 academic year, a total of 1919 students were selected to pursue various academic programmes in the Unima. Out of these, 914 are females representing 48 percent and 1005 are males representing 52 percent of the candidates.

The motivation forum was organised by Nkhoma CCAP synod with aid from the Tilitonse Fund.

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