Essential GBV Prevention and Services Project in Malawi
According to the 2015–2016 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, 34% of women ages 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence and 21% of women ages 15 to 49 report having experienced sexual violence.
EngenderHealth’s Essential GBV Prevention and Services Project in Malawi worked in Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Kasungu, and Mzimba districts in partnership with a variety of stakeholders. The program sought to improve coordination and delivery of GBV services and ensure survivors had recourse through a functional legal system. To strengthen community ownership and overall sustainability, EngenderHealth worked with local organizations and networks to implement these interventions, providing technical assistance and helping refine activities based on evidence and learning from implementation.
We established mobile courts to more quickly resolve current GBV cases and reduce the backlog of GBV cases. Through these mobile courts judges, prosecutors, and lawyers moved from location to location. The program also helped establish 86 safe homes or safe spaces to accommodate survivors needing immediate shelter while awaiting support from social welfare officers and law enforcement.
The program also worked to prevent GBV by addressing harmful traditional practices and cultural norms. This included engaging men and boys to reimagine masculinity and challenge social norms that promote violence and supporting women in understanding their right to live free from violence and knowing how and where to access health and social services. We also engaged 160 traditional and religious leaders to counter harmful traditional attitudes, behaviors, norms, and practices that perpetuate GBV by co-facilitating dialogues in their communities.
To promote women’s economic empowerment the program provided vocational skills training for 737 young women. We also engaged 144 spouses of these young women through sensitization sessions addressing intimate partner violence.