Activities ainmed at inclusivity of women, youth and people with disabilities in malawi form part of EISA's work to increace the capacity of political parties has been undertaken by EISA's Governance Institutions and Political Processes (GIPPS) department, under its political parties programme. The aim is to contribute to an open, inclusive and democratic political system, by strengthening this crucial set of stakeholders in the processes of democratic governance.
Gender work in Malawi was derailed due to the escalation of post-election protests in the country. Grant Masterson with Rafiq Hajat from Malawi civil society met with political party leadership in Malawi to discuss a potential dialogue with the antagonists in the post-election period in Malawi. This initiative was highly complex (given the ongoing volatility of the post-election situation in the country), but EISA's intervention was generally welcomed.
Regrettably, Malawian President Peter Mutharika declined several requests for a face-to-face meeting, even through the efforts of former Zambian President Rupiah Banda. GIPPS plans to re-examine possible dialogue interventions in early 2020 to re-assess the status of the post-election environment and support democracy building efforts in that country.
26-28 June 2019
Youth and people with disabilities methodology review meeting was held in Johannesburg from 26 - 28 June 2019 and included country partners, as well as staff from EPP and gender experts.
Malawi activities have had to be deferred due to national elections in both countries being held during 2019. The gender audit reports which have been drafted for political parties will be discussed with the respective parties beginning in December 2019 and continuing in 2020.
Following successful consultative meetings and workshops with political parties in 2018, GIPPs updated the 'Gender audit and action plans' to include other vulnerable groups - specifically youth and people with disabilities. This work entails amending the survey questionnaires for political parties as well as the related final report templates.
GIPPS held consultative meetings with parliamentary political parties, introducing the parties to the EISA/ODIHR methodology for conducting gender audits, developing action plans to strengthen intra-party democracy within the party and securing the parties' support for the project and participation in the pilot workshops. Subsequently, gender audit workshops were held in Lilongwe on 22-23 September 2018.
Parliamentary parties ensured that multiple representatives from their party were present during the workshops. These representatives included: Executive Committee members, and members from the women's and youth wings of the parties. Feedback from both workshops was extremely positive.
The GIPPs team met with Corien Jonker from ODIHR to discuss the development of a concept and programme to enhance gender partition in political parties using a political party gender auditing tool developed by ODIHR combined with training materials developed by EISA. As a former MP from the Netherlands, Corien's insights on gender participation as well as assistance developing a useful network have been invaluable. GIPPs started reaching out to political parties to participate in the two workshops/seminars planned per country.