UN Gender Policy Statement - Malawi
Malawi SDNP
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The Overall Goal of the UN Joint Gender Policy Statement directly relates to the Mission Statement of the UN which focuses on mainstrearning Gender in All UN and National Development Policies and Programmes.

The Goals of the UN Joint Gender Policy Statement are:-

  1. To enhance the coordination, relevance and effectiveness of the support of UN agencies to government and other partners in the processes of integrating a gender perspective in development policies and programmes in order to ensure that the needs of women and the girl child, (the primary stakeholders in poverty alleviation initiatives), as well as their empowerment are given adequate attention in UN supported projects and programmes; and
  2. The creation of a positive gender responsive work environment within UN agencies in which gender related      issues and concerns will be dealt with effectively to promote gender equality at the work place.

The Objectives of the UN Joint Gender Policy Statement are:-

  1. Laying guidelines for developing joint mechanisms and procedures aimed at strengthening the gender sensitivity and responsiveness of UN Agencies so that they can respond more effectively to the internal gender concerns.
  2. Establishing mechanisms for joint coordination and cooperation among UN Agencies in respect of the support given to government and NGO partners with a view of integrating a gender peFSpective in national development initiatives.
  3. Identification of common gender related development objectives of common interest to UN agency country programmes and provision of a mechanism for a joint support for an effective institutional framework as well as forming partnerships with other stakeholders.
  4. Supporting the implementation and monitoring of the priorities in the National Platform for,action with special focus on the empowerment of women and the promotion of their rights.
  5. Identification and sharing of resources among and within UN Agencies, and with donor organisations for gender- related activities.
  6. Suggesting indicators for joint monitoring of UN Agencies'common internal gender perspective, gender sensitivity and gender responsiveness.

The following guiding principles are considered necessary for an effective policy and to achieve the objectives of the UN Joint Gender Policy Statement:-

  1. There is need for effective coordination between the UN agencies and government and NGOs in the national efforts to integrate a gender perspective in development policies and programmes;
  2. Coordination will require continuous commitment of the Heads of Agencies, and a willingness to experiment with new alternatives in addressing pervasive gender imbalances;
  3. In the context of Malawi, a gender perspective is not incompatible with and does not exclude gender specific programmes. Such an approach is a recognition that the situation and position of women as well as men in Malawi will need special attention as already recognised in some government sector policy statements
  4. For the success of the gender specific programmes, it is vital that the impact of existing "traditional" gender arrangements and relations at all levels and in all sectors, be clearly understood so that the strategic and practical gender needs for the empowerment of women can equally be taken into account.
  5. The primary stakeholders for the UN Joint Gender Policy Intervention are, in particular, women and the girl child.
  6. Presently, and in general, the gender responsiveness and sensitivity of the political, social, cultural and economic environment, and the institutional framework in which gender policies and programmes are to be developed and implemented, are also of concern.
  7. In order to successfully integrate a gender perspective, it is necessary to recognise and accept that there are conceptual, and analytical aspects of Gender and Development (GAD), as a technical discipline in development and that it is incumbent on UN staff and partner organisations to acquire this technical knowledge to equip them with an important base of practical skills needed for integrating a gender perspective.
  8. UN agencies require institutional capacity in terms of gender sensitivity and awareness, technical knowledge and skills, as well as gender responsive mechanisms and programmes to be able to respond to internal gender issues and concerns which may arise in the process of agencies' everyday work. This capacity shall be developed.
  9. Finally, the Malawi Government having fully acceded to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, recognises the need to clear obstacles that may impede the full realisation of women's potentials.
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