NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGOGCN) has cautioned party leadership to desists from acts of sexual exploitation in order to put women into leadership position.
The Network Chairperson, Emma Kaliya sounded the warned during the launching of 50: 50 campaign last Thursday at Masintha ground in Lilongwe.
She said sexual exploitation being perpetuated by male folks in leadership positions in various political parties in the country is one of the deterrent factor being is preventing more women form joining politics.
“There are a lot of women who are ready to join politics and be able to represent their areas in Councils and Parliament but they face a lot of challenges of to pursue their ambitions as a results of sexual exploitation being encountered in various political parties at all levels,” Kaliya pointed out.
She said the people in forefront doing this have wives in their homes and they still want to have ago at any woman who came close to them.
The Chairperson said the research on Political Economy Analysis and Perception study on political empowerment of Women has fallen short to point out that sexual exploitation is many political parties is on the increase but since is being done privately no one wants to talk about it.
She observed that more women are suffering in silence as they are being sexual abused by men holding positions of influence in political parties.
Kaliya appealed to Party Secretary Generals to ensure such malpractices are put to a stop so that the 50;50 campaign initiative should achieve its desired goals.
“We started the campaign of increasing women representation in parliament long time where we were calling for 30 per cent of women representation in the National Assembly as part Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative but now we are aiming at 50:50 representations in parliament,” she recalled.
The Chairperson said currently women representation in parliament stool at 16 per cent with only 32 women members of parliament out of 193 seats and about 11 per cent women councilors.
Executive Director of Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD)Emma Kaliya said all political need to open up and provide a meaningful platform to women to aspire for decision making position in political structures let alone to stand as member of parliament.
He said the country has seen a lot of women MPS that have ably delivered in their constituencies and this should be an encouragement to others that they are capable too.
“CMD has always be a great campaign of promoting 50: 50 representations in all party structures and with the 2019 tripartite elections gives the political parties to walk the talk. The initiative will have a very great impact to the political landscape of the country,” Padambo said.
Deputy Mayor for Lilongwe City Council, Councillor, Juliana Kaduya said political parties are not supportive to women aspirant particularly during preliminary elections.
She said most women lack financial support for them to able campaign and compete favourably with their men counterpart.
During the launch of the 50:50 Campaign, Secretary Generals of the ruling party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), main opposition party Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and People’s Party (PP) signed their commitment to implement the initiative in their party’s for the forthcoming elections.-MANA