President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has reiterated his government’s commitment towards the advancement of gender equality and women empowerment in the country.
Mutharika made this remarks on Monday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre when he had an audience with the UN Women Executive Board who are in the country to observe and assess how UN organisations are faring.
“My administration is committed to women empowerment and this can be evidenced through the enactment of gender-related legislations, one of which being the raising of the marrying age from 16 years to 18 years.
“Furthermore, I have managed to appoint women in key positions both in my cabinet as well as civil service. We are also geared to increase the participation of women and girls particularly through the 50-50 campaign,” said the president.
Mutharika also pointed out the remarkable progress Malawi has made in reducing child marriages, saying the country has managed to register a decline in the number of child marriages by 50 per cent.
However, the President conceded that it was still a challenge to attain a 50-50 women representation in parliament but was optimistic it would be achieved.
In her remarks, President of the UN Women Executive Board, Ambassador Ivana Pajević said the country was on the right track in development under the administration of Professor Mutharika.
“We have a number of projects in the areas of education, health and through our observation and assessment, the programmes are bearing fruits,” she said.
She added that the board had discussed with the president involvement of women as participants on the forthcoming elections.
“Further, we also talked about the need to increase the budget for the Ministry of Gender as it has a lot of areas that need a lot of funding,” said Pajevic.
UN Women Board focuses on priority areas that are fundamental to women participation in public life and that can unlock progress across the board.