Cross Cutting Issues

Human Rights

WG9P0102Malawi is a signatory to some major international treaties promoting human rights and rule of law. However, most international conventions need national ratification through Parliament and submission of State party reports on the ratified treaties remains limited posing accountability challenges. In events where State party reports have been submitted, there is limited follow up on recommendations made by UN treaty bodies. Revisions of key laws to align with international conventions are, in a number of instances, overdue. Non-ratification of UN conventions on rights is an important issue for Malawi in consolidation of democratic governance. This could be a factor in the negative trends seen on human rights since 2009 elections. Maintaining political will to address this issue will be important as political and civil rights go together. Read More…

Gender

DSC_0013Almost all four Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are unlikely to be met in Malawi are deeply related to gender issues (MDG1, MDG 2, MDG 3 and MDG 5). The Gender Index indicates that women’s economic and political power in the country is weak, with disparities relative to men being particularly noticeable in agricultural household enterprises; in paid employment, and in senior positions across all sectors of life.

Malawi’s progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment has been below expectation and attributed to inadequate gender structures in the country to drive gender equality at a policy level. Many of the initial structures to coordinate the national response following the Beijing Platform of Action were informally institutionalised, and have therefore fallen away. As a result, support for gender programming and projects has often been fragmented and disparate, with little institutional support available from the National Gender Mainstreaming Division within the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare which itself faces serious human and financial capacity constraints and lacks institutional support to fulfill its mandate. Read More…