Many adolescent girls are subjected to multiple forms of violence, exploitation and harmful cultural practices that encourage early marriage as well as initiation rites that expose them to sexual abuse, which in turn increases their risk of HIV infection. The Joint UN Programme is therefore a very much needed effort to protect young girls in Malawi.
This joint programme targets adolescent girls in two districts, Mangochi and Chikwawa. It is a holistic programme which will contribute to improved adolescent girls education and participation in youth and development activities as well as reduced adolescent pregnancies and gender based violence. The programme document includes five desired outputs from the project; 1) vulnerable adolescent girls have access to education opportunities, 2) adolescent girls have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, 3) mechanisms for prevention and management of violence against adolescent girls in place, 4) adolescent girls actively participate in youth and community initiatives, and 5) institutions have access to sex and age and disaggregated data for evidence based planning.
In short, this programme will address the gaps that are hampering Malawi’s MDG achievement as the three MDGs that are least likely to be achieved in Malawi all relate to gender; MDG 2 on universal primary education, MDG 3 on gender equality and women’s empowerment and finally MDG 5 on improved maternal health.
It has been agreed that Norway supports the program with a total amount of 11 700 000 NOK for the two year period.