A host of human and gender rights institutions have praised President Lazarus Chakwera for appointing more women in his new reconfigured cabinet that has attained the required 40 percent threshold as per legal and advocacy provisions.
Earlier this week the Head of State and Government appointed a 30-member cabinet comprising twelve women, seven full ministers and five deputies.
The rights bodies have viewed the appointments as a step in the right direction.
A coalition of women and girl rights bodies, The Women Movement Manifesto, says what the Presdient has done adheres to the provisions of the Gender Equality Act (2013) which states that there should not be more than 60 percent and not less than 40 percent representation of either sex in public appointments.
“This indicates that the President’s commitment towards Gender equality in the country. We believe the inclusion of more women in the cabinet will result into Gender transformative budgets, policies and programmes,’ reads part of their statement.
Another 54-member coalition, The NGO Gender Coordination Network, has stated that the achieved compliance by President Chakwera has rekindled and affirmed trust in the Presidency’s openeness and responsiveness to the contributions of many like-minded stakeholders within the civic space.
Malawi Human Rights Commission has also weighed in on the new development labelling it as progressive move towards gender equality.
Besides new appointments, other ministers have been maintained in their previous portfolios while others have been promoted to full ministers.
Hon Nancy Tembo is now the new Minister of Foreign Affairs while former deputy Minister of Defence, Hon Jean Sendeza, has assumed the role of Minister of Homeland Security.
Hon Patricia Kaliati has maintained her role at Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare and will be deputized by Hon Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma, previously deputy minister at Ministry of Agriculture.
The President has also retained Hon Agnes NyaLonje as Minister of Education now to be deputized by newcomer Hon Monica Chang’anamuno.
Another minister who stays in her previous role is Hon Khumbize Kandodo at Ministry of Health.
The President has promoted former Lands deputy minister Hon Abida Mia to Water and Sanitation Minister and Hon Vera Kamtukule, who was Labour deputy minister, to full minister.
Other deputy ministers retained in their role are Hon Nancy Chaola Mdooko at Ministry of Transport and Public Works and Hon Halima Daud at Ministry of Local Government.
Hon Madalitso Wirima Kambauwa who deputized at Ministry of Education has now been moved to Ministry of Agriculture in the same capacity.
This was the first restructuring of the whole cabinet by President Chakwera since he assumed office in June 2020.