Malawi has been earmarked as one of the 13 countries globally and eight countries in Africa selected to receive part of the global grant of €500 million (approximately K427 billion) from European Union (EU) to implement Spotlight Initiative.
UN Resident Representative Maria Jose Torres broke the news on Friday on the sidelines of the Spotlight Initiative Media Orientation for Reporters for Community Radio Stations in selected districts of Malawi.
Spotlight Initiative is a joint programme of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) aimed to eliminate harmful cultural practices and all forms of violence against women and girls.
And in Malawi, the programme targets Mzimba, Nkhata Bay, Dowa, Ntchisi, Machinga and Nsanje districts where cases of harmful cultural practices and all forms of violence against women and girls are reportedly persisting amid efforts to end them.
Torres disclosed that on the African Continent, Malawi is among Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe, which were selected through a competitive process.
“In Malawi, the Initiative has drawn a broader partnership among EU, UN, Malawi Government, the civil society and the media to bring about transformative change in the lives of women and girls in the country. The programme is built around six interconnected and mutually-reinforcing pillars focusing on laws and policies, institutions, prevention and social norms, services, data, and women’s rights movement – driving innovation and transformative programming to end violence,” she said.
The UN boss stressed that that the Initiative will respond to all forms of violence against women and girls, with a particular focus on domestic and family violence, sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices, femicide, trafficking in human beings and sexual and economic (labour) exploitation.
Torres stated that in addition to enabling a holistic approach to ending violence against women and girls, the Initiative will promote the guiding principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ as enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“This will be done by building on the momentum of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) efforts, especially Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Critically, the initiative includes a comprehensive prevention strategy that addresses structural issues and linkages to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and HIV and Aids,” Torres said.
Spotlight Initiative Media Network chairperson, Alex Banda, welcomed the development, saying it will go a long way in promoting women’s rights in the district.
Banda – who works for Zodiak Broadcasting Station – pledged commitment from the journalists to educating and creating awareness on the evils of violating the rights of women and girls.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :