The National Initiative for Civic Education says it wishes there were more women participating in elections. In a Press release issued hours after the 30th March 2021 by election conducted in seven constituencies and two wards, the Trust says, it has observed that there were more women who participated as voters while very few were administrators and only 9 women contested out of the 49 candidates.
In its observation NICE says the gender analysis of polling staff based on the five sampled centres visited at one point in Chikwawa East, show that out of 73 polling staff, 16 were female, whereas 57 were male and the female represented 28 percent, which means 72 percent were male.
However NICE commends MEC for this attempt but also requested the electoral body to improve the female participation to the 60:40 ratio based on the dictates of the Gender Equality Act of 2013, an act meant to promote gender equality, equal integration, influence, empowerment, dignity and opportunities for men and women in all functions of society, among other things.
The Press Release further says that the fact that few women contested speaks volumes on how the political party space keeps shrinking to women participation. Political parties are the best platform for women to secure seats in our current political set up and this is a point for serious reflection by all electoral stakeholders.
Malawi Electoral Commission conducted by elections in Karonga North West, Ntchisi North, Lilongwe Msinja South, Zomba Changalume, Chikhwawa East, Nsanje Central and Nsanje North Constituencies Liviridzi Ward in Balaka West, Chitakale Ward in Mulanje South Constituency on 30th March 2021.