Unless adolescent girls voice out real issues that affect them and fall into a listening ear, Malawi will continue swimming in dire poverty because girls present a critical factor of measuring developmental indicators.
This was said by Let Girls Lead-Malawi chapter’s National Coordinator Joyce Mkandawire during adolescent girls’ interface meeting with leaders held at Lilongwe’s Crossroads Hotel, recently.
“Malawi continues to perform poorly on development because it misses out issues of adolescent girls, which features in a very critical indicator of national development. This is a serious call for government including other development partners to watch this space,” said Mkandawire.
She said research indicates that investing in issues of girls reduces poverty and vulnerability, but only two percent of global funding goes directly to the programs for girls.
Courtesy, of Let Girls Lead’s Girls’ Voices Initiative, nine adolescent girls were mobilized from across the country to present a petition containing serious issues that hamper their development in Malawi ahead of the post-2015 development agenda to be held in America from.
On behalf of adolescent girls, 18-year old Ethel Movete from Zomba said the future Malawian girls and the country as a whole were seriously dodged by child marriage and trafficking, child labour and poor promotion of education.
“True leaders create a bright future thereby investing in today. That is to say taking measures to protect and promote issues of adolescent girls today will translate in a win-win-situation today,” said Movete.
She pointed out that lack of an education and skills to a girl child means a high fertility rates that lead to Malawi’s overpopulation, early and forced marriages, and HIV/AIDS exposure which leads to extreme poverty and malnutrition.
Among other high level delegates that attended the meeting was Minister of Gender, Disability and Child Welfare Patricia Kaliati, who challenged developmental partners on delivering intended results for the benefit of Malawi.
“We should all aim at one goal of making Malawi a better place to be for adolescent girls thereby translating our resources into intended results. We should design programmes that strive to address real issues that affect vulnerable groups by working with relevant stakeholders such as chiefs and parents in rural areas, not mere lip services,” said Kaliati.
She added that the keys to unlocking the development potential of Malawi were with the local people.
Said Kaliati: “It starts with us and with what we have to turn around the tables of development in Malawi.”
Malawi’s Girls’ Voice Initiative is powered by Let Girls Lead International, which works to empower girls around the global for them to become leaders and change the world.
The NGO catalyzes scalable change for adolescent girls by investing in visionary leaders and organisations like Girls Empowerment Network (Genet) in Malawi, through its leadership development, advocacy, grant-making and organisational strengthening programs.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :