South Africa’s former First Lady Graca Machel, late Nelson Mandela’s wife, is scheduled to be in Malawi for a two day visit to accelerate efforts to end child marriage, improve education of the girl child and improve nutrition outcomes.
Machel will be in the country from Thursday 20th to Friday 21st August, 2015 in her capacity as the Founder and Chair of the Graça Machel Trust.
While in Malawi, Machel is expected to have an audience with Civil Society Networks, Government Ministers, Parliamentarians and networks of African business women and Agribusiness.
According to her organization, Machel is expected to discuss with civil society and government how investing in girls education is a smart investment for the nation.
“Girls in Malawi have a number of barriers to completing school and achieving success. One in two are married before they are 18, making them vulnerable to abuse and violence in the home,” reads in part a statement from Graça Machel Trust.
“Whilst great improvements have been seen in under-five child survival rates, newborn deaths remain persistently high. Under-nutrition and acute malnutrition are major concerns in the country with almost half of under five children being too short for their age (stunted)’’.
The statement further disclosed that Machel will be meeting with NGO networks and Parliamentarians to strategize and plan for raising awareness and action on stunting.
Graça Machel Trust works across the continent to amplify women’s movements, influence governance, and advocate for the protection of children’s rights and dignity.
The Trust consolidates the work of its founder, Mrs. Graça Machel and seeks to build on her legacy by inspiring the young generation to take up new challenges and create societies that value and care about social justice.
Graça Machel Trust is facilitating the visit in partnership with Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, UNICEF Malawi, UN Women, World Food Programme (WFP), Civil Society Nutrition Alliance (CSONA), Network of African Business Women, Girls not Brides and Girls Education Network.