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UN for equal rights despite Covid blur

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TORRES— Issues affecting women remain the same

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Jose Maria Torres has urged women in the country to continue fighting for equality despite that the Covid pandemic has exacerbated challenges such as gender-based violence (GBV).

She said this Monday, when stakeholders commemorated this year’s International Women’s Day in Lilongwe.

“We realise that things are always changing but, to an extent, issues affecting women remain the same. This is why we have to think of the future; a future that is equal for all. This is because, if the issues will not be addressed, there will be no change and that means a future that is not equal for women and girls,” Torres said.

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The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Women in Leadership at All Levels: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid World’.

Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Minister Patricia Kaliati said, to protect the space of women in leadership in Malawi, her ministry had started processes to reform national and local structures to include gender-sensitive measures.

“We will engage all key partners at all levels in this struggle. The reform will be accompanied by the implementation of the Gender Equality Act (2013), which stipulates that recruitment in the Public Service must follow 40:60/60:40 of either sex,” Kaliati said.

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She disclosed that the government was also reviewing electoral laws to have electoral gender quotas in line with relevant national laws and international gender instruments.

Kaliati added that her ministry would also endeavour to strengthen laws and guidelines to overcome forms of GBV such as verbal attacks, cyber-bullying, the use of false pictures and physical assaults on women.

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