END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS - HON. KALINDE
New York: March 6, 2013:
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Honorable Anita Kalinde says the Government of Malawi places the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls high on its development agenda. Honourable Kalinde made the remarks on Wednesday when she addressed the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) currently taking place at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The Minister said Malawi is committed to the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1880 and 1890; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa; the African Union Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality; and the SADC Gender and Development Protocol among others.
Honourable Kalinde, who is leading the delegation of Malawi to the conference, told the meeting that in order to promote gender equality and women empowerment, Malawi has adopted the international instruments through Chapter 4 of its Constitution which enshrines the bill of rights and states that violence against women is an evil that needs to be eradicated in the society.
“In addition, the Prevention of Domestic Violence law of 2006, the Child Justice and Protection Act of 2010, and the Deceased Estates (Wills, Inheritance and Protection) Act of 2011 have also been enacted. 120 prosecutors, magistrates and social workers were trained in the gender related laws in 2012 and 34 Child Justice Magistrates, 37 Probation Officers, 39 Prosecutors and 34 court clerks were trained in child justice system to strengthen the provision of judicial services in all the Magistrates Courts in the country. Two child-friendly courts are operational in Blantyre and Zomba,” Honourable Kalinde said.
The Minister said, in its current sitting of Parliament, Malawi has passed the Gender Equality Bill into law thereby strengthening the operationalization of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. The Act offers a protective mechanism towards the violation of the rights of females and outlines explicitly the areas under which discrimination, harmful cultural practices and sexual harassment are prohibited among others.
Honourable Kalinde pointed out that the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II) has included gender mainstreaming as one of the priority areas which cover strengthening of institutional capacity; engendering of budgets; eradication of gender based violence and the promotion of participation of women in politics and decision-making processes, adding that the Government has also put in place a National Response Framework to serve as a strategic policy instrument for the multi-sectoral approach in the prevention and eradication of gender based violence in Malawi.
She said Malawi has established Victim Support Units in 34 police stations, 13 police posts and 200 Support Units in 300 Traditional Authority institutions. Malawi has also established 20 One Stop Centres in Central and District hospitals and 4 of them are operational.
“To date 30% of the reported cases of violence are prosecuted. The multi-sectoral approach has enabled Malawi to work with “Men for Gender Equality Now” an NGO which has been conducting travelling conferences from 2003 in collaboration with its regional counterparts. Annually the organisation reaches out to about 1.5 million people while the multi- media campaign reaches out to over 6 million people. Consequently the culture of silence has been broken and there is a marked increase in the number of reported cases of violence against women.
The Minister explained that sexual abuse of children, poverty, unequal power relations, high levels of illiteracy, burden of care that women shoulder, poor access to HIV and AIDS services including care and treatment are still troubling issues.
“Women and girls, who constitute 52% of the population in Malawi, are more vulnerable to HIV transmission and impacts of AIDS than men and boys. Of the 920,000 people living with HIV, about 470,000 are women and 120,000 are children aged 0 to 14 years. The fight against HIV and AIDS at all the levels continues.” Honourable Kalinde said.
Malawi has accelerated the implementation of safe motherhood programmes with the establishment of an office in the Office of the President and Cabinet and through the involvement of the traditional leaders. According to the United Nations 2012 estimates, Malawi’s maternal mortality ratio declined to 460 from 675 per 100,000 live births in 2010. In this regard, the Minister reiterated Malawi’s appreciation for the assistance the United Nations family and other development partners renders towards the fight against gender based violence in Malawi and appealed to the UN and all cooperating development partners to increase resource allocation for programmes aimed at eliminating all forms of violence against women.
“Despite the progress in the fight against gender based violence, challenges such as inadequate resources to roll out best practices; increased natural disasters due to climate change; limited access to justice services; poverty among women; poor and inadequate infrastructure; persistent harmful cultural practices; and resistance to behavior change remain,” the Minister said.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women's rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women's rights.
Malawi is currently a member of the CSW and its membership expires in 2016
Ambassador Msosa presents credentials to UN Secretary General
NEW YORK: 4 February, 2013, Malawi’s new Permanent Reprsenative to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador Charles P. Msosa today presented his Letters of Credence to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, at the United Nations headquarters, New York.
Accepting the letters, HE Ban Ki-moon paid homage to Her Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi, Mrs. Joyce H. Banda for the dynamic leadership she is demonstrating since she became Malawi’s leader in April last year. He said he has high respect for President Banda and the path she that is leading Malawi toward and that he would continue to work with her Government to enhance the already good relations between Malawi and the UN.
The UN envoy said Malawi is a hard working country as evidenced by the four-fold yield at the UN-supported Mwandama project in Zomba district in Southern Malawi.
In his remarks to the UN Secretary-General, His Excellency Ambassador Msosa said he was grateful to Her Excellency the President, Mrs. Joyce Banda for appointing him as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations. He expressed great joy that Malawi is a member of the Commission on the Status of Women as well as Executive Board Member of the Gender Entity women, UN Women. He said he was looking forward to vibrant and fruitful discussions for the benefit of Malawi.
Ambassador Msosa commended the United Nations for establishing the UN Women Malawi Office this past September. He informed the UN Chief that the UN Women would improve addressing issues pertaining to gender equality and empowerment of women as well as attaining the gender-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He thanked the UNSG for the support his organization continues to give Malawi in other spheres of development and informed him that he would commit himself to serve in his capacity as Permanent Representative to the best of his capabilities.
Ambassador Msosa was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife, Mrs. Mercy Msosa, his son, and the Deputy Permanent Representative, Mrs. Mcheka Chilenje-Nkhoma and Mission diplomatic staff.
Ambassador Msosa arrives in New York
Malawi’s new Permanent Representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Charles Msosa arrived in New York on Monday, January 29, 2013 to start his tour of duty following his appointment by Her Excellency the President, Mrs. Joyce Banda late last year. Mr. Msosa is expected to present his letters of Credence to the UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon in the coming few days.
Before his appointment to the Diplomatic service, Ambassador Msosa was Principal Secretary for Administration in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Malawi ready to send troops to Mali
Malawi's President Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce Banda says she is ready to send troops to the war-torn West african country of Mali provided that the country does not foot the logistics by itself. Mana
Malawi joins the Executive Board of the UN Women
Malawi will for the next three years, starting this month, serve on the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) following its election to the Board late last year.
Making the announcement in New York on Wednesday, Malawi’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mrs. Esther Mcheka Chilenje Nkhoma said this is an exciting time for Malawi to take up this leadership position on a UN entity. (Press Release)
Malawi leader tells EU Malawi cannot afford to slow down fight against poverty
President Joyce Banda has reiterated her commitment to ending poverty in the country, saying her government has put in place plans to make Malawi a regional food basket in the shortest time possible. (MANA)
Malawi secures aid at 2012 European Conference
Besides attending the 2012 European Development day's conference onTuesday, President Joyce Banda engaged various bilateral talks that have proved to be a step ahead in bringing financil and technical assistance to Malawi (MANA).
PRESIDENT JOYCE BANDA ADDRESSES THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
President Joyce Banda on 26th September said her administration is determined to eradicate poverty through economic growth and wealth creation as one way of contributing to the attainment of the millennium development goals.
Making her maiden speech to the United Nations Assembly President Banda said her government aims at creating wealth by transforming the structure of the economy and promoting the private sector in order to achieve economic growth and accelerate job creation.
She pointed out that protection of vulnerable and the excluded within a decentralised and democratic environment would also fall within the framework.
“My vision, specifically, is to transform Malawi to become one of the fastest growing African economies in the next decade,” she said, adding: “For me, growth is not merely GDP growth, rather it is about wealth and prosperity for all.” (more)
International bodies pledge support to agricultural development initiatives
New York, September 18/2012 : Two international organisations have pledged to support the government of Malawi in its efforts of improving the agriculture sector to reposition it as one vital aspect of the country’s economy.
Pioneer Seed Company President Paul Schickler and George Soros Founder and Director of OSISA made the commitment to support government’s agricultural development programme in separate interviews with the Malawi News Agency after holding talks with President Joyce Banda at Waldorf Astoria International Hotel in New York on Tuesday. (more)
HER EXCELLENCY MRS JOYCE BANDA IS MALAWI'S NEW PRESIDENT
Malawi has a new President. She is Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce Banda, who was sworn in to the highest office on Saturday, April 7, 2012 following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5. She becomes the first female president in Southern Africa and the second in Africa.
"I will well and truly perform the functions of the high office of the President of the Republic of Malawi," President Banda said as she recited the oath of office on Saturday, during an inauguration ceremony held at the New Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
Speaking after taking her oath, President Joyce Banda called for calm and unity among Malawians and urged them to reject revenge.
"I want all of us to move into the future with hope and with the spirit of oneness and unity. I hope we shall stand united and I hope that as a God-fearing nation we allow God to come before us, because if we don't do that then we have failed," President Banda said. “I just sincerely hope that there is no room for revenge. I just sincerely hope that we shall stand united." She added.
The smooth inauguration of Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has been hailed as a triumph of democracy, a rare happening in some African countries in recent times.
'This has helped to entrench and cement a democratic culture in the country and is a fresh breath of air on our African continent, where smooth transitions are rare, said the Sunday Times in an editorial titled "Democracy Triumphs in Malawi!"
'Malawi, with a young history of 18 years of democracy, joins African countries such as Zambia and Senegal in West Africa who have recently had peaceful, orderly and smooth transitions.' said the Sunday Times.
The late President, Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika was confirmed dead upon arrival at One Milipark Hospital in South Africa on Thursday, April 5, 2012 after suffering a massive heart attack earlier in the day.
Sources: Nyasa Times, Sunday Times