Malawi's NGO Gender Co-ordination Network on Monday expressed concern over low female representation in President Joyce Banda's cabinet released last Thursday in which out of 30 ministers and deputies, only eight are female.
Chairperson for the organisation Emma Kalia told local radio Zodiak that the low representation of female ministers in the new cabinet is contrary to Sadc and AU regulations that call for equal opportunities between men and women.
Kalia said the number of female ministers in the cabinet was getting lower and lower. She said at one time the cabinet had 11 female ministers, later 10 and 9 respectively. Mutharika's last cabinet that Banda replaced last Thursday had three female ministers and 6 deputy female ministers against 20 male ministers and deputies. On the other hand, Banda's cabinet had six female ministers and 2 female deputies against 16 male ministers and 7 male deputies.
Meanwhile, leader of opposition and president of Malawi Congress Party John Tembo applauded Banda for her inclusive cabinet that drew parliamentarians from all parties. Tembo told Zodiak radio station that he would be happy to serve as Banda's second vice president if it pleased the president to appoint him.