From a 22% representation to a 16 % representation, Malawi has suffered a heavy setback on efforts to promote a gender balance in parliament.
Among the few women that made it in is Honorable Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, former first lady of our Republic.
Recently, when asked (the big interview) about her new status as MP in comparison to having held the glorious position of first lady, she responded thus:
“Is being first lady a career? Who said that? I would not even encourage young ones to think that being a first lady is a career. Being first lady is just as well as being a house wife. I wonder why people think that my being a Member of Parliament is a demotion.
Is it because I am a woman? Take for instance, people like former vice- president Khumbo Kachali, who is now a Member of Parliament. Can you tell me that this is a demotion? I don’t really care what people will always say about me. I thank God for the promotion. ”
From being the little talked about wife No.2 in a polygamous marriage, to being full blown main wife and first lady after the extravagant state wedding of 1999, to carrying out charity work as first lady, then a much publicized divorce and rather embarrassing post divorce wrangles over property the honorable Shanil has always held hear own.
One hopes that she will take some of that fire into the august house and use her experience as first lady, wife and confidant to Malawi’s first democratically elected citizen No.1 to stir up some excitement from the back benches.