The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged political parties to ensure an environment that accommodates women in higher positions.
UNDP chief technical adviser at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Richard Cox made the remarks in Blantyre yesterday during a two-day Institutional Capacity Building in Gender Mainstreaming Workshop for MEC commissioners and senior staff.
Cox urged political parties to focus on women empowerment within the parties by supporting female aspirants.
He said: “Gender is a fundamental issue in all the work of the United Nations [UN] agencies. The UN has worked so hard to have it integrated in all its structures.
“This is why we are doing these activities with MEC, organisations and civil society organisations (CSOs) through UN Women and the 50:50 Campaign using our basket fund. We want to level the play field as much as possible, women need to participate in elections not only as voters but also as leaders and it is imperative that different political parties and organisations understand this.”
MEC commissioner Yahaya M’madi described gender mainstreaming as an issue worthy prioritising as Malawi moves towards the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He hailed UNDP for funding the workshop.