After two weeks of sporadic rioting and legal wrangling, Malawi inaugurated its fifth president on June 2 in Blantyre. Although he received just 36.4 percent of the vote, Arthur Peter Mutharika’s victory has now been accepted by all sides, including the incumbent, Joyce Banda. The last two months have been a political rollercoaster for Mutharika, but he must now turn to the uphill battle of healing divisions and creating the consensus he will need to govern effectively.
Today, as on March 8 every year since 1911, men and women around the globe celebrate the contributions women make to humankind. Although both egregious abuses and subtle discrimination persist worldwide, real progress toward gender equality, which means progress for humanity as a whole, appears to be gaining momentum.
Freedom House welcomes the Malawian government’s decision today to temporarily suspend its pernicious anti-homosexuality laws. This is a positive first step in ending the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons; however, Freedom House calls upon the parliament to repeal all legislation that criminalizes homosexuality and for the government to take steps to ensure the safety of all LGBT persons.
Civil Society, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, LGBTI Rights
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.