Only seven out of 58 aspiring candidates that have submitted their nomination papers to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) from the seven constituencies in Machinga District are women, representing 12 percent participation.
The aspiring candidates are Chrissie Khembo, Madalitso Phiri, Ellen Nakanga, Justina Chimanda, Mercy Makwera, Fyness Magonjwa and incumbent legislator for Machinga East Esther Jolobala.
According to Machinga District Elections Office, four of the female aspiring candidates are to contest as independents, two are on United Democratic Front ticket and one is representing the governing Democratic Progressive Party.
The development is contrary to the 50:50 Campaign which seeks the inclusion of more women in political leadership.
Machinga district gender officer MacMillan Magomero said the low participation of women was due to the socialeconomic problems they face.
“It is not easy for women to contest in elections because of our culture and economic factors.
“Most of our women have limited economic power that can enable them mobilise communities to vote for them,” he said.
MEC reduced by half women candidates’ nomination fees for May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Out of the country’s 193 members of Parliament (MPs), only 32 are women. n