Low women participation in politics worries MEC

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has expressed concern over the continued the low participation of women in politics.

MEC Chairperson Dr. Jane Ansah, said despite the 25% discount on nomination fees for women candidates to encourage them to stand, the turnout is still unsatisfactory.

Dr. Ansah said the just gone by-elections were an opportunity for political parties to put their female members in power to alter the statistics.

“Political parties should move from rhetoric to action regarding women empowerment.There is need to create an environment which will nurture them,” she said.

Dr. Ansah added: “Parties should come up with policies and practices that will support women candidates beyond paying nominations fees.”

She also blamed women rights campaigners for their failure to support women candidates in the by-elections.

“The commission did not hear any such campaign which are common during general elections.

“Efforts to support women in elections should embrace electoral cycle philosophy,” she stressed.

Ansah said the commission has also noted that even during general elections some campaigners come late, sometimes after nomination when many women have already dropped.

No female candidate has managed to scoop a seat out of six parliamentary and local government seats which were up for grabs in the just ended by-elections.

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