MESN faults police, parties on violence against women

Blantyre, The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has faulted the Malawi Police Service, political party leaders and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for failing to take action on the violence against women in politics (VAWE).

MESN raised the concern following its board meeting on May 11 held at Sun Bird Mount Soche Hotel where they met to discuss issues happening during the campaign period as the network monitors the pre-election period ahead of the May 21 elections.

MESN Chairperson, Steve Duwa said in a communique released on May 15 that there is lack of action by the electoral key stakeholders on the continued trends of political violence in elections and VAWE.

As MESN we denounce in the strongest terms any form of political violence as well as violence and verbal abuse against women in politics and call on the MEC, the Malawi Police Service and political party leaders to take immediate action, reads the press statement in part.

In its March 11- March 24 pre-elections observation report III, MESN noted that candidates or supporters in the four of the districts in the country reproduced gender stereotype or sexist language during the campaign activities or events.

The network observed that in Nkhatabay South, an MCP parliamentary candidate was reported using gender stereotypes or sexist language to discourage area residents from voting for women candidate while in Kasungu, DPP party supporters were reportedly criticizing UTM pregnant woman as useless.

Reads the report: In Blantyre, an independent female candidate visiting the Kabula Bridge for campaign activities was intimidated by supporters of DPP aspiring MP. The police must act swiftly to cases reported on politically-motivated violence and attacks and bring perpetrators to book.

Source: MANA Online