Women from across Malawi descended on Blantyre on Wednesday to support Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Jane Ansah who is under pressure from Civil Society Organizations and political party leaders to resign citing her mishandling of the May 21st elections.
Hundreds led by Forum for Concerned Women donning t-shirts which read ‘I am Jane Ansah’ marched from Old Boma to Blantyre City Council.
The Ansah supporters submitted a petition saying they do not want her to resign and that she should be respected.
Minister of Gender Mary Navitcha speaking on Council premises said: “The issue here was to tell the nation and every one listening that time has come for women to be respected.
“We are asking Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) and political leaders to stop these acts of mentioning women privates because this is disrespect,” Navitcha added.
She said the insults are coming not because she (Ansah) has the job but because she is a woman.
“As a God-fearing nation, a peaceful nation we condemn this,” she said.
The minister point black said Jane Ansah is not stepping down from her position as MEC chairperson because insults are being hurled at her saying it is up to the court to make its determination if she did not handle her job right.
She said as the new Minister of Gender she has put in place measures to ensure that women in the Malawi are protected and respected.
Chairperson for Forum for Concerned Women Seodi White said the commitment shown by the women was outstanding and Ansah will not fall.
Said White: “She will not resign because of some people that are disgruntled.”
Speaking to the media White explained that they (CSO’s and political party leaders) are picking on her because she is a woman.
But Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Director of Campaign Moses Kunkuyu trashed the feminists' calls saying they appreciate the role women play in the Malawi but said Ansah mismanaged the May 21st elections.
“We are not talking about Jane Ansah the person but Jane Ansah the chairperson of the Commission,” Kunkuyu explained.
UTM Publicists Chidanti Malunga pointed out this is not about gender but mismanagement of the office.
Chidanti said: “Whether it was a man or woman the issue is about mismanagement of the elections and bringing the gender card here is unfortunate. They are trying to by public sympathy but the public already knows this.”
The case of elections mismanagement starts on July 29.