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Citizens for Justice and Peace

Malawi cuts cost for women running for election

14, May 2018 | CJP Team

Authorities in Malawi have said that women candidates will 25% less than men to seek election to parliament, in a bid to increase the number of women elected in a general election in 2019, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. The standard fee is 200,000 kwacha, or around $280. The move, which was announced on May 3 by the Electoral Commission, comes after a decrease in women members of parliament in the previous election in 2014. That year, Malawi’s first woman president, Joyce Banda, was heavily defeated in the presidential election. Malawi was the first country in southern Africa to have a female head of state. However, a 2016 report from the Overseas Development Institute found that women were still not adequately represented in politics. Only 16.5% of the country’s legislators were women. The study also found that few women served in leadership roles in political parties, and that their official involvement is restricted to support roles. The study noted that given the unpredictable nature of the 2014 election, political parties were reluctant to put forth women candidates, despite the fact that the success rate for women and men around the same. 

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