Female candidates will pay 25 percent less than men to run for parliament in Malawi under a scheme to get more women into power in a general election due next year, authorities have said.
The decision, announced on Thursday by the Electoral Commission, follows a fall in the number of women MPs in the last national election in 2014, when the country’s first female president Joyce Banda lost power.
Experts welcomed the move to charge women candidates less than the standard 200,000 kwacha (about 3,000 Zambian Kwacha) fee, but called for more to be done to boost female participation in politics.
Few women have leadership positions within political parties and their formal participation is often limited to support roles, the study found.
The unpredictability of the 2014 election meant parties were much less willing to field women candidates – even though the success rate of men and women was roughly equal, it said.