The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) through its Africa Regional Programme and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) in collaboration with the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Malawi (CMD- Malawi), convened an African Regional conference of political parties on “Gender in Politics and Political Parties: Experiences, Challenges and Perspectives for the Future”, from 7th to the 9th October 2014 at Mount Soche Hotel, Blantyre, Malawi.
The conference, which brought together senior representatives for political parties from 20 countries namely Benin, Burundi, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Conference was also attended by experts and practitioners from within and outside Africa and representatives from UN Women- Malawi, Association of Western European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) and Demo-Finland.
Speaking at the Conference, Guest of honour, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Honourable Patricia Kaliati pointed out the importance of addressing the challenges facing inclusive and diverse politics and development in gender and politics.
“I am grateful to international actors such as the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and other likeminded organizations like International IDEA for providing us with this kind of a regional platform where we can engage in dialogue on issues that matter most to the advancement of democracy” said Kaliati in her Keynote speech during the official opening of the conference
Key message that emerged from the conference included the Intersection of gender in politics and democracy, Gender equality commitments in political party policies and intraparty democracy, Practical Suggestions for improving gender equality in politics and political parties, Commitments on areas of support made by assistance providers and partners amongst others.