President Lazarus Chakwera has bemoaned the prevalence of bias against women and called on people to regard women positively.
Chakwera said this yesterday when he launched a Malawi Women Professional website at Capital Hill in Lilongwe.
The website has been developed by the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and profiles qualified and professional women with postgraduate qualifications: That is, first degree; diploma and certificate.
It also profiles women who are in the informal sector.
“We cannot defeat bias against women by denying that it is here. It is here in Malawi,” Chakwera said.
He said women bore the brunt of bias in the way they are treated when competing for opportunities for jobs, business, education and promotion and also in the way they are treated when accused of wrongdoing in the home, workplace and the community.
Chakwera said the first step to end bias was to acknowledge that it existed and to call it out for what it is whenever and wherever it manifests itself.
“Each of us must begin that process of acknowledging the existence of bias by examining our own bias against women. Just because we are not guilty of one form of bias against women does not mean we are not complicit in other forms,” Chakwera said.
He further challenged people to use every available resources to destroy bias against women.
“We must rebuke those who need to be rebuked, stop those who need to be stopped, arrest those who need to be arrested, prosecute those who need to be prosecuted and fire those who need to be fired if doing so is the most appropriate and lawful thing to do to protect women,” he said.
Chakwera called for action from everyone to end bias. He said the idea of breaking bias requires action and not just words.
He commended the production of the new website for professional women in Malawi, saying it allows stakeholders to be deliberate in their consideration of women for various positions in the professional world.
MHRC Commissioner Stella Twea urged the government to utilise the platform with the aim of achieving gender parity. She said the website should also facilitate Malawi’s efforts towards meeting Goal 5 of Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality and women empowerment.
“Your Excellency, we hope the website and the compendium will provide a relevant setting for a strong gender platform which will enable women to overcome economic, social and political barriers,” Twea said.
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