CAVWOC: Centre for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children

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Reducing poverty and inequality in Malawi

Ongoing Project : 2023-2027

Funded by: Irish Aid Civil Society Partnership (ICSP)

he 'Reducing Poverty and Inequality in Malawi' project, funded by Oxfam Ireland, is currently underway in Mchinji, Lilongwe Rural, and Phalombe districts. This initiative is being executed by Oxfam Malawi in close partnership with CAVWOC, CEWAG, and CYO, in collaboration with the respective district councils. The project is guided by the following key objectives: • Improving Access to GBV Essential Services and Increasing Women and Girls' Participation in Decision-Making • Increasing Institutional Responsiveness in Promoting Gender Equality and Resilient Livelihoods • Enhancing Household, Community, and Institutional Anticipatory Preparedness and Capacity CAVWOC is implementing a component on gender justice in Phalombe to achieve the improvement of access to GBV essential services and increasing Women and Girls' participation in decision-making in TA Jenala and Nkhulambe.

Incidence of gender-based violence, including physical, sexual, and psychological violence against women and girls still exist in the target areas of T/A Jenala and Nkhulambe.  Gender inequality remains a pervasive issue, which severely restricts women's access to education, economic opportunities, and leadership roles within the community. It is imperative to empower women and challenge these deeply ingrained inequalities to foster overall community development and enhance well-being. The following is the summary of the GVB cases reported in Phalombe District as of September, 2023.




During the planning meeting, it was highlighted that among other factors Phalombe District suffers from weak referral systems. The existing referral mechanisms for crucial service providers, such as the Police, Health, and the Judiciary, are often fragmented and inadequately responsive to the needs of GBV survivors. Specifically, it was noted that some healthcare personnel refuse to provide court testimony in rape cases after they have been involved in producing medical reports. Furthermore, some health professionals hesitate to conduct the necessary tests and produce medical reports due to fear of community backlash. Consequently, certain cases remain inconclusive. Additionally, weak referral systems persist because of the absence of fully trained and well-equipped community structures capable of responding promptly to GBV incidents. Furthermore, the lack of District Referral pathways contributes to information and knowledge gaps, exacerbating the problem. Strengthening these systems is crucial to ensure timely and appropriate support for survivors. For a considerable amount of time, women and girls who are survivors of GBV have not received comprehensive support that empowers them in all areas being economically, socially, and psychosocially. Many community members lack awareness and understanding of women's rights and the adverse consequences of GBV. This knowledge gap severely hampers the ability to effectively prevent and respond to such incidents.

1.0  Activities

This project aims to empower communities in T/A Jenala and Nkhulambe to combat and prevent and end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). It will focus on mobilization, shifting negative social norms, raising women rights awareness, women empowerment and establishing effective referral systems. The project will work closely with local leaders, community structures, and service providers to create a safer and more gender-equitable environment in collaboration with the Phalombe District Council.

Based on the gaps identified the following are the planned activities which will be implemented from October to December, 2023 at Micro and Meso level.

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