BY FIDELIS KUMWENDA
In Malawi, are there more males than females or it is the other way round? Having been born in a family of six boys and one girl, my perception has always been that there were more boys than girls. The perception by many people, however, is that there are more women than men.
I one day decided to ask a few people, five boys and five girls, and all of them told me that they believed that women far outnumber men.
I went back to official sources to check which of the two is correct. I found that according to 2019 Unicef estimates, the ratio of men to women was roughly 1 to 1.
The other source available was the Population and Housing Census of 2018. The Preliminary report showed that the population in Malawi in 2018 was 17,563,749, of whom 8,521,456 were males and 9,042,293 were females. The ratio is 0.94 to 1.
Other observations were that population for males is lower than females in both rural and urban areas. However, in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe, the population for ages 18 years and above is higher for males than for females.
In addition, for ages 35 to 74, there are more males than females in urban centres as opposed to rural areas, where there are more females in all age brackets.
A typical urban male honestly believes that there are more women than men.
The danger in such a wrong belief is that he expects females to worship him.
A typical female also honestly believes that there are few men. However, each one of them feels she is lucky enough to get more approaches than she needs.
The men get frustrated that they don’t get that much respect from those who should, in fact be pleading for attention.
This frustration can lead to gender based violence where women are taunted for no reason.
People need to know the correct statistics, in order to adjust their expectations in life.
This will psychologically prepare one to avoid frustrations, self harm and gender based violence.