President Lazarus Chakwera presided over the launch of a website that aims at providing the president and government in general with a database from where appointments of professional women for public positions would be made.
The website (compendium) of qualified Malawian executives and women professionals was launched at Capital Hill in Lilongwe during World Women’s Day celebrations (8 March 2022).
The website was designed and developed by STAR IMAGE a creative local digital company in consultation with the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Action Aid, ‘For Equality’, and ‘Her Liberty’.
According to MHRC, the compilation of professional women was done to fulfill the gender quota which requires that public positions should have not less than 40 percent and not more than 60 percent of either gender.
The website has over 500 detailed profiles and CVs of women in various sectors including economics, administration, media, sciences, law and medicine, and health. It includes women with PhDs, Master’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. The website is still being updated and women in the informal sector and those with their qualifications will also be added.
Speaking during the event, MHRC commissioner Stella Twea said this is the first website in Malawi profiling qualified women.
She added that the website was developed in response to the president’s plea regarding a lack of a pool of professional and executive women from which appointments could be made.
“It is expected that the 40/60 quota shall be met as the website and the compendium shall provide you [the president] with a plethora of qualified women to choose from,” she said.
Twea added: “It is our hope that the website will provide a relevant setting for a strong gender platform that will enable women to overcome economic, social, and political barriers. It’s our hope that this will enhance women’s participation in various fields.”
On her part, Tikhala Itaye from Her Liberty said Malawi has a low score on gender equality but there is an opportunity through the generation equality forum for the country to be a leading example.
She added that the database profiles women with amazing expertise who do incredible work. She said the website can be used to identify women regarding appointments in public or private sector.
“This is key when it comes to advancing women’s leadership and gender parity,” she said.
In his speech, President Lazarus Chakwera said he was pleased with the launch of the digital platform which allows stakeholders to deliberate in the consideration of professional women in the professional world.
“I am delighted that the website has been created in response to my public request in identifying professional women who can be a resource to our development agenda,” said Chakwera.
The president then expressed commitment to ensure that the platform is put to good use and he urged other institutions to do the same.