Upon his arrival today, President Chakwera had three events scheduled for his attendance. These included a bilateral meeting with Iceland Prime Minister, an official meeting with International Labour Organization (ILO) Chief as well as a UN caucus on Women Generations Equality.
The first to attend was the UN Women Generations Equality Midpoint event where the Malawi leader reaffirmed Malawi Government’s position to continue empowering Malawian women and girls in line with SDG Number 5
President Chakwera, who is so far a towering Malawi leader on women empowerment, told the forum about Malawi’s positive strides in the area of women empowerment.
Although not mentioned in his remarks, Malawi had never implemented the seminal 50/50 gender balancing aspiration until Chakwera’s administration came into place. During his first term administration which is expiring into another term in 2025, Malawi made a huge record in promoting women into senior government positions across the three organs of the government.
During President Chakwera’s first tranche of appointments, women constituted 41 percent in the cabinet, 45 percent in foreign missions, and 50 percent in the Judiciary arm of the state. Further, for the first time ever in Malawi’s history, a woman has been featured as Secretary to the President and Cabinet while another woman, again for the first time ever, assumed the position of Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) whereas in the legislature, President Chakwera’s political party successfully nominated a woman to be a Speaker of the National Assembly.
The development led into Malawi to be ranked 116 out of 153 nations in the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap index, a significant and record-high improvement.
Gender activists in the country were elated with Chakwera’s prowess in implementing the Gender Equality Act. Emma Kaliya, a renowned gender activist, is on record to have challenge authorities in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to follow President Chakwera’s yardstick in promoting women to influential positions. Another gender activist, team leader for 50-50 Campaign Agency, Viwemi Chavula, is equally on record to have challenged MDAs to emulate what President Chakwera did in implementing the objective of Gender Equality Act.
During the UN Women Generation Equality Midpoint event, President Chakwera remarked that his Government is determined to use existing legislative, policy and governance frameworks to continue giving Malawi women and girls equal opportunities for jobs, social protection, businesses and education.
The UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, was left impressed with Malawi’s significant stride in the equality agenda and further announced that the gender equality cause has already received financial commitments of up to US$407 billion of which US$20 billion has already been secured.
According to Bahous, Malawi stands to benefit from these commitments as the task of empowering women and girls forges ahead.