United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) deputy representative Rogaia Abdelrahim says prevailing threats and challenges to advance the rights of women demand collective and effective reaction from society.
Speaking at the launch of the Gender Equality Act: Implementation and Monitoring Plan 2016-2020, Abdelrahim said involvement of the Malawi Government demonstrates its unfaltering commitment in enhancing the promotion of gender equality.
She said: “The fight against poverty must be based on the realisation of human rights for women and men. The contribution of both men and women must be acknowledged. Women must be able to take part in societal decision-making and welfare development on the same footing as men. This will require an active effort to strengthen women’s rights, participation and influence.”
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has said government is committed to promoting the rights of women and girls to ensure gender balance in both schools and places of work.
However, she said that by concentrating on the girl-child and women, men and boys have not been left behind.
“Usually when girls start school, the ratio between boy and girls is usually 1:1 but as time goes on to tertiary or even secondary school, you will find that it is only 21 percent of girls who are in secondary school and the number will further go down as the girls reach tertiary education,” she said.
The Gender Equality Act was enacted in February 2013 to promote the equality of women and men in all sectors of the society to fulfill the commitments to international conventions that Malawi is party to.