Our Focus

Gender Equality 

Gender Equality and UNDP Malawi

Gender equality and women’s empowerment is the core of UNDP Malawi’s core work.  Gender mainstreaming is applied in all programmatic interventions with a focus on inclusive forms of participation and putting a gender sensitive monitoring system into place.

UNDP Malawi is dedicated to enhancing its capacity to achieve transformative change by building capacity, knowledge, skills and attitude changing efforts, as well as ensure the provision of more resources to create an enabling environment that supports the country office team to improve performance and incorporate the UNDP values of gender equality among partners and stakeholders.

UNDP Malawi has a Gender Equality Strategy 2018 – 2023 aimed at achieving gender equality in UNDP operations and programmes.

UNDP is also an implementing agency under the Spotlight Initiative, whose focus is on supporting justice delivery institutions at local and community level and establishing an Observatory Hub for data support in monitoring VAWG, SGBV and HPs using SDG targets and indicators.

UNDP Malawi has enhanced its gender mainstreaming approach across all programmes to help advance gender equality and women’s empowerment to contribute to its principle objectives in reducing poverty, inequality and vulnerability to shocks.

These objectives are achieved by building more responsive and gender sensitive institutions and scaling up employment and sustainable inclusive livelihood opportunities.  Some of the strategic entry points for UNDP Malawi’s work in gender and women empowerment include:

  • Supporting efforts to accelerate the equal participation of women, including young women and marginalized groups, in decision making.
  • Providing technical assistance to establish or strengthen mechanisms to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in governance processes.
  • Supporting women’s networks and civil society movements to bring gender equality perspectives into policy making and legal reforms, including those related to transparency and accountability, and leveraging its partnerships with governance authorities, public administrations and other key policy making bodies to provide opportunities for their engagement.
  • Supporting partners to ensure gender-responsive governance of natural resource management
  •  Supporting legal and policy reforms to accelerate women’s rights in law and practice, eliminate discrimination and eradicate sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Supporting national and subnational actors to expand women’s access to services, including health, social protection, security and HIV, and engage women and men equitably in the prioritization and provision of local services.
  • Working with partners to ensure the effective delivery of HIV services through targeted interventions by and for women infected and affected by HIV. Specific attention will be given to addressing gender-based violence and the role of men and boys in HIV prevention.
  • Supporting national partners to provide victims of sexual and gender-based violence with multi-sectoral support and services.
  • Supporting national efforts to strengthen women’s access to justice in formal and informal systems. This includes increasing the gender-responsiveness of the judicial, security and legal sectors through capacity building and increased representation of women in decision making; the promotion of the legal empowerment of women; and engagement of religious and traditional leaders on women’s rights.
  • Supporting women’s access to environmental goods and services (including climate finance institutional frameworks. This includes supporting training and the establishment of incentive mechanisms to enable women to become energy entrepreneurs and to participate in public-private partnerships.
  • Supporting the mainstreaming of gender equality and women’s empowerment in disaster and climate risk reduction policies and plans, as well as in the budgetary frameworks of key sectors (such as water, agriculture, energy, health and education).
  • Strengthening the participation of women in decision-making processes on climate adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction.
  • Strengthening capacities to collect, analyse and use a range of data relevant to gender-responsive policy making, including sex disaggregated data, to inform policy making.
  • Supporting national, regional and global partners in undertaking research and documenting best practices as part of the above-referenced global development debates.

women's rights are human rights 

Women's participation in all stages of development. Photo: UNDP

We need increased participation of women in all stages of development to make big and lasting change, not only for the women, but for all people in Malawi.


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