Un Gender Policy Statement - Malawi
Malawi SDNP
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  United Nations Joint Gender Policy Statement - Malawi

"The Empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is a highly important end in itself."  (ICPD 1994)

"The empowerment of women and equality between women and men are prerequisite!; for achieving political, social, economic, cultural and environmental security." (Global Platform For Action, FWCW 1995)

"We commit ourselves to promoting full respect for human dignity and to achieving equality between women and men, and to recognising and enhancing the participation and leadership of women in political, civic, economic, social and cultural life and development."  (WSSD 1995)

The UN Joint Gender Policy Statement is a response by the UN agencies in Malawi, to the government's call to donor organisations for support in its Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) Policy Framework in which "gender imbalances" emerge as a key factor of poverty. The UN Joint Gender Policy Statement has been developed in consultation with different government agencies, NGOs, and other donor organisations which are actively involved in programmes focusing on eliminating gender imbalances. Support for a Joint Gender Policy is a recognition, by the UN agencies, of the need for coordination, and development of mechanisms which will ensure effective partnerships between government and the civil society. In doing so, empowerment and advancement of women, which are necessary instruments in the process of eliminating the existing gender imbalances and the reduction of poverty, shall be achieved.

In establishing a coordinated approach to supporting national initiatives for integration of a gender perspective in national policies and programmes, the UN agencies will be taking the lead in providing an example, and motivation, for coordination and collaboration in an important cross-cutting social development issue, women empowerment and gender equity and equality in Malawi. It is in this light that this UN Joint Gender Policy Statement is poised to play a crucial role in offsetting gender imbalance which is prevalent in the country.

A coordinated approach is also an apt response to the call made in the Global Platform For Action (GPFA), on the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW), the World Summit on Social Development (WSSD) and the   International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), to members of international organisations for coordinating policies, and for cooperation and partnership, all of which are important in realising the development objectives to which governments and intemational organisations committed themselves.

In addition to highlighting the existing gender imbalances as key factors in poverty, the Malawi National Platform For Action (NPFA) identified the protection of human rights of women and the creation of an enabling environmeat for the empowerment of women, Violence Against Women, the Girl Child and Peace as priority issues for action in the National Platform For Action. This justifies the need to develop a UN Joint Gender Policy Statement to provide a framework for joint coordination.

In relation to these identified needs, the UN Joint Gender Policy Statement:-

The policy recognises that in emergency situations, the gender specific needs of women may be overshadowed  by unanticipated constraints. It is critical in such cases  to ensure that there are appropriate mechanisms for clearly identifying different gender needs and experiences as well as provisions of safety nets, so that the problems can adequately be addressed.

Details of the human and financial resources required to implement the policy and proposals on how  these are to be mobilised and areas where such re  sources shall be deployed and used are given.

Finally a monitoring and evaluation system for the implementation of the policy is suggested.

Section 1 introduces the current situation of women and gender in Malawi and work on gender already done by the UN System.

The UN Mandate and Mission Statement on Gender is  given in Section 2.

Section 3 describes the policy goals, objectives and guiding principles.

Section 4 gives details of priorities and issues that require joint action.

Section 5 describes the implementation strategy adopted to achieve the objectives and attain the goals of the policy.

Section 6 gives the institutional framework surrounding  gender.

Section 7 describes supportive roles expected of government, NGOs, the private sector and other donors for the success of the policy.

Sections 8 assesses the human and financial resources that are required for the effective realisation of the policy, and

Section 9 suggests a monitoring and evaluation system to track the implementation of the elements of the policy goals and objectives and obtain feedback for review.
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