Female members of Parliament (MPs) are pleased with lawyers who, through the Malawi Law Society (MLS) have pledged to support them.
Lack of legal representation for women was one of the biggest challenges female aspirants had, according to a 2014 research.
“Women suffer because of lack of legal support. They are harassed, for instance, and cannot take the harassers to task because they do not have the financial muscle to do that. We are thankful to the lawyers for offering support and wish them blessings,” said veteran legislator Patricia Kaliati in an interview on Thursday.
MLS vice-president Alfred Majamanda said lawyers will play a part in uplifting women’s levels of standing in society to be at par with men.
“As lawyers, we thought of coming with skills to help. So, we have committed to provide pro-bono services as a way of politically empowering women. We are doing this in accordance with the Constitution of Malawi and we are ready to provide those services to all who need assistance,” he said. The 50:50 Campaign Management Agency’s communications expert Wisdom Chimgwede said female aspirants have in the past lacked legal representation because of financial constraints.
“The agency reached out to MLS for partnership. The idea is for us to have a pool of lawyers we can call upon whenever we need legal services,” he said.
The lawyers are expected to offer different services, including litigation, general representation, legal advice and research.
“We need a lot of lawyers to assist because we are going to have many female aspirants. Already, we have about 800 female registered aspirants and if all of them go all the way to contest, it will require a lot of hands in legal training and legal representation, among others,” said Chimgwede.