Wolrec against political violence

Wolrec against political violence

The Women Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec), has urged political leaders in the country to uphold the principles of equality and inclusivity to foster a discrimination and violence free political environment.

This follows findings of a research conducted by the organisation which shows that women in Malawi face a number of  limitations when it comes to political participation.

In a statement, Wolrec executive director, Maggie Kathewera Banda, stated that women, irrespective of their political affiliations, have been subjected to intimidation, harassment, and physical violence solely based on their gender.

She said such reprehensible acts not only undermine the democratic process but also violate fundamental human rights.

She said: “It is imperative for all stakeholders, including political parties, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, and the broader community, to unite against this menace.”

Findings in the Violence Against Women in Politics study conducted between August and October 2023, cited sexist insults, movement restrictions, physical attacks/bullying as common types of violence against women in politics in Malawi.

Some of the limitations to participation of women in politics include economic and social-cultural factors, the political landscape, and male dominance among other factors.

Wolrec states that violence against women in politics brings about emotional/psychological trauma among targeted female candidates or aspirants leading to the withdrawal of female candidature and underrepresentation of women in decision-making or public positions.

The study covering six districts of Mzimba, Nkhota -Kota, Ntchisi, Mangochi, Zomba and Nsanje showed that sexist Insults are common during campaign rallies and community meetings, and these include name calling: abusive language against female candidates; and intimidation based on gender.

“We therefore recommends reinforcement of penalties prescribed by the Electoral laws as the amended Electoral code of conduct of 2019 intends to prevent and address any acts of violence which political parties and candidates, including women, may experience as they participate in electoral processes,” reads part of the statement.

The study funded by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) was aimed at generating data (prevalence, incidence, scope) on Violence Against Women in Politics useful for key stakeholders supporting political and electoral processes, especially those promoting women’s participatíon in politics and public life.

The post Wolrec against political violence first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Wolrec against political violence appeared first on Nation Online.