UNDP pumps in K9 million for 50-50 representation campaign


United Nations Development Programme-UNDP-has pledged to a continue supporting the design and implementation of a new 50-50 representation campaign program on political empowerment of women ahead of the 2014 tripartite elections.

The UN body has since set aside about K9 million for the cause in the next two years, according to UNDP Deputy Resident representative to the country Dr Agnes Chimbiri.

“Last time we did not have enough time to support and educate the public to appreciate and vote for women but this time the campaign will into those issues,” said Dr Chimbiri.

Through a similar campaign initiated before the 2009 general elections, the country saw an increase in the number of female parliamentarians from 25 in 2004 to 42 in 2009.

This translates into a 22 % women representation in the house, of which only four retained their seats from the previous legislative body.

Despite such efforts and strides by government and various other stakeholders towards attaining gender parity in political decision making in the country, it remains a farfetched dream.

Dr Chimbiri further said that women’s participation in political process in the country still requires a solid strategy and integration into the overall electoral cycle.

“We would want to initiate for a direct involvement of all stakeholders from its inception and we believe this will have a direct bearing,” she said.

UNDP in conjunction with the Ministry of gender children and social welfare and Malawi parliament has since issued a report on dissemination of women MPs training needs assessment.

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