The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation has urged government to improve women’s participation in public procurement by reserving a specific proportion of contracts for women owned businesses. This was said in Lilongwe on the 19th of April 2021 at the Business Women’s Summit which kicked off this year at the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) under the theme Realizing Gender Responsive Procurement and Smart Financing. The function was officially opened by the State President, His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera.
In his presentation, the Executive Director of CHRR, Mr. Michael Kaiyatsa cited a 2019/2020 study conducted by the institution in Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria in collaboration with the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), Article 19 and Nigeria’s Public and Private Development Centre. He bemoaned that only 1% of public contracts in Malawi are won by women entrepreneurs or women-owned businesses. This, he reiterated is a direct result of a lack of political will by the government to enhance the participation of women in public procurement. He recommended government to review Malawi’s procurement policies and laws to include specific measures to promote women’s participation such as reservation of 30% of public procurement for women. This inadvertently promotes good governance through the realization of the socio-economic rights of women in the country.