Malawi aligns national policy and strategy with the Protocol

Malawi aligns national policy and strategy with the Protocol

Date: October 30, 2014
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As 2015 approaches, there is a mounting global debate around the post-2015 agenda, and the need to strengthen gender provisions in the next development framework. This therefore calls for member states to equally harmonise and align all relevant documents, in order to emerge with a stronger post-2015 agenda. The most critical area is resource allocation, and the only way to achieve this is to cost the gender policies with existing resources from the national budgets.

Having ratified the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, Malawi has joined a group of other SADC member states who have embarked on a journey that puts in place a firm initiative to implement the Protocol at country level. Through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare as the National Gender Machinery, Malawi just conducted a training workshop for local experts from government, development partners and civil society organisations to build their capacity in gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting. The workshop held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe from 6 to 10 October, was also aimed at validating, finalising and costing the country’s action plan for the National Gender Policy to facilitate its implementation. It was supported by the SADC Gender Unit working in technical collaboration with Gender Links, national alliance partner- NGO Gender Coordination Network, and a local independent consultant.

In providing the background to the workshop and its objectives, the Director of the SADC Gender Unit pointed out the need for all relevant gender policies to be costed and harmonised to the SADC Gender Protocol as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. She also underlined that, for Malawi, the workshop was very timely since the National Gender Policy had just been reviewed which provided an opportunity for the country to synchronise the priority areas of the policy with the provisions of the Protocol to ensure the achievement of its objectives and targets at the country level. The workshop also provided participants with an opportunity to situate the implementation of the National Gender Policy within the Post 2015 Agenda. “This workshop is timely especially coming at a time when Malawi had just submitted her Beijing +20 Report and also in view of the processes surrounding the post-2015 agenda”, said the representative of the UN Agencies in Malawi, who also represented the Resident Representative of UN Women in the country.

In his opening speech, Peter Msefula, the Director of Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, reaffirmed the government’s commitment in ensuring that the objectives of gender equality and women empowerment as outlined both in the Protocol and the policy are achieved.

Some of the key outcomes that are expected to be realised at country level are outlined below:

  • Accelerated momentum towards the realisation of the SADC Gender Protocol targets and Millennium Development Goal 3 as a result of a well thought out and costed Action Plan for the National Gender Policy.
  • Enhanced capacity of participants to identify gender inequalities and the measures to address the inequalities.
  • Strengthened capacity of participants around gender responsive budgeting and motivating at budget hearing sessions.
  • Sharing of best practices on gender mainstreaming at a policy level.

In closing, participants highlighted the need for the Ministry of Gender to ensure that the excitement and momentum generated at the workshop should be sustained by continuously building the capacity of personnel in key sectors and organisations so that they are able to effectively champion for gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting. It was also recommended that opportunities for shared-learning between Malawi and other countries should be explored, while strengthening the relevant systems for oversight, monitoring and supervision within the secretariat of the National Gender Machinery.




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