Government geared towards women and girls empowerment

By Sarah Mlozoa

In a quest to eradicate poverty among women and girls the ministry of gender, community development and social welfare on Wednesday launched the social protection for gender empowerment and resilience (SP-GEAR) programme.

Speaking during the launch in Zomba, the minister of gender, community development and social welfare Jean Sendeza said there is need for more efforts to uplift the most vulnerable group particularly women and girls.

“We are committed to enhancing the resilience and livelihoods of women and girls from vulnerable households through targeted economic empowerment activities by proving access to social services and fostering diversification of livelihoods,” Sendeza said.

She further cautioned the tendency of authorities favoring those who are already benefiting from other initiatives.

“Our national social protection strategy, aims at ensuring that our social safety nets are efficient and effective in reaching those who need them most,” Sendeza said.

In his remarks EU ambassador to Malawi Rune Skinnebach said the programme will offer an opportunity to break the intergenerational poverty cycle in targeted families.

“By addressing the multifaceted barriers to empowerment, we aspire to create an enabling environment where women and girls can thrive and contribute meaningfully to their communities,” he said.

On his part Irish Ambassador to Malawi Seamus O`Grady said they are delighted that the programme is uniquely positioned to tackle interrelated challenges such as gender based violence that limit women’s access to opportunities.

Unicef representative Shadrack Omol said the programme will help in promoting inclusive social protection which is essential to safeguarding the rights of children.

The three year programme is expected to benefit more than 500,000 people in Mzimba, Ntcheu, Balaka, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje and Zomba districts and is being funded by UNICEF, European Union and the government of Ireland.

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