The Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) Program that is being implemented by the Government of Malawi with support from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) will in December 2014 award Non State Actors that are implementing innovative and creative interventions in the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment in the country.
This was agreed at the program’s review meeting that was held in Lilongwe recently to review progress of the 3 year program.
The GEWE program is aimed at reducing gender inequalities between men, women, girls and boys in accessing productive resources and development opportunities.
Participants at the meeting agreed that 4 Non-Governmental Organizations that have managed to demonstrate innovative results and good practice should qualify for additional funding to enable them to upscale their innovative approaches.
At the award conference, the Implementing Partners will be expected to exhibit any materials they have produced, documentaries demonstrating results and make presentations on their innovative approaches.
GEWE Program Coordinator Innocent Hauya said a panel of 3 judges will vet and assess the entries from Implementing Partners to identify the 4 best entries.
“The GEWE Champion Award is to the tune of USD$30,000.00 and will be presented to the each of the 4 IPs that have best implemented sustainable innovative activities that integrate or align all elements and principles of equality into a holistic program that has a lasting impact on the community and the economy as a whole”
He added that for sustainability purposes, one of the key guiding principles for the judges is that the activities should be in line with the District Development Plans and it is for this reason that the NGOs are encouraged to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Gender Officers in the 13 districts in the development of their entries.
“The successful implementing partners will then to identify a Community Based Organization in its impact area to use the funds for implementing community activities aimed at promotion of gender equality and women empowerment”
Hauya indicated that from 2012 the GEWE program has contributed a lot to the national gender agenda including establishment of one stop centers in some districts to provide psycho social support to victims of Gender Based Violence, institutionalization of graduate gender programs at the Lilongwe University of Science and Technology, simplification, translation and dissemination of gender related laws, capacity building of government officers in the 4 priority sectors, support to selected district councils for implementation of Gender Equality Local Development initiatives and many others.
In a separate interview, Dr Mary Shawa, the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare said that in the 13 districts where the GEWE program is being implemented, communities are tackling various issues on gender equality and women empowerment in the areas of transport, health, agriculture and education.
“Communities have been mobilized to develop community bye laws to curb violence and also encourage girls’ education. The program has also supported the economic empowerment of marginalized women to help enhance their financial independence over and above the socio and legal empowerment,” she said.
The GEWE project was launched in 2012 and will run through to 2015. Its overall objective is to contribute towards acceleration of efforts to advance gender equality and equity as a human right for the reduction of HIV and AIDS and poverty in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS), the National Gender Policy (NGP) and Gender Sector Wide Approach.
The partners implementing this programme include the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare; Church and Society Programme, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) Ecumenical Counselling Center (ECC), Malawi Human Rights Resource Center (MHRRC), Creative Center for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM), Women’s Legal Resources Center (WORLEC), Malawi Interfaith Aids Association (MIAA), Development Assistance from People to People (DAPP) and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Law Commission.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :