Party structures hinder women participation

The Malawi 50-50 Campaign Management Agency has singled out lack of financial muscle among women as a contributing factor to low women participation in the general elections.

Speaking to YFM, communications specialist for the agency, Wisdom Chimgwede said most structures in the country’s political parties favor men than women right from the primaries.

Chimgwede said this in reaction to concerns raised by women aspirants for parliament and ward councilor in Karonga where their party is forcing them to sign a declaration that they will not contest as independent candidates should they lose the primaries.

“Malawi is a democracy and in Malawi everybody has a right to contest whether on a political party’s ticket or as an independent candidate and choosing which political party to contest is nobody’s role expect that of the woman who want to contest,” Chimgwede said.

He added “Primaries in most political parties are organized in a way that hinder women because in most cases women do not have the kind of financial muscle that men have and such kind of things research has shown that that have discouraged women from taking part in an election.”

Chimgwede however urged women not to be threatened or discouraged by anything.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are reported to have asked people showing interest to contest on both parliamentary and council elections not to compete in the 2019 elections if they fail in their primaries.

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