Legislation exists in Malawi to safeguard the rights of older persons, yet these rights have not been realised.
How we are helping
Strengthening the capacity of older men and women, and the organisations representing them, to more effectively advocate for their rights and shape public policy.
About the project
The National Policy for Older Persons of Malawi (2016) aims to safeguard the rights of older persons. However, many older men and women in Malawi struggle to have their rights realised, to lead dignified lives, and participate fully in civic life. Most older persons in Malawi lack access to adequate health care, social pensions, and some are subjected to violence. The government of Malawi is currently developing an Older Persons’ Act to improve the implementation of the National Policy for Older Persons. Key provisions include income security in the form of grants and pensions, the safeguarding of rights, and equal access to services.
This project will improve the implementation of the Act by promoting greater inclusion of older persons in the social and political spheres at the local and national levels. This will be achieved by:
- Training members from MANEPO and Older Persons Associations (OPAs) on older persons’ rights, including raising awareness of the provisions of the National Policy for Older Persons
- Designing and implementing evidence-based advocacy strategies and campaigns on issues affecting older men and women in three districts of Malawi (Lilongwe, Blantyre, and Mzuzu)
- Participating in consultative meetings on the drafting of the Older Persons’ Bill with key actors involved in this process, including the Law Commission, the Legal Affairs Parliamentary Committee, and the Ministries of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare
- Advocating for the establishment of a technical working group involving older persons, which will steer the drafting process and the passage of the bill
By the end of the project older persons and their organisations would have provided input into the drafting of the Older Person’s Act which is expected to be adopted before the end of the project and bring the realisation of older persons’ rights closer. The project is expected to contribute to strengthening how older persons engage with public policy and empower older persons organisations to follow up on the implementation of the Act as a result.
The Malawi Network of Older Persons’ Organisations (MANEPO) is the country’s age network, an umbrella body of over 60 civil society organisations working to promote and protect the rights of older men and women in Malawi. MANEPO helps older men and women claim their rights, challenge discrimination, and overcome poverty so that they can lead dignified, secure, active, and healthy lives. MANEPO is a member of HelpAge’s Global Network and of the Southern Africa Regional Ageing Network (SARAN), which advocates for the rights of older people at the regional and international levels.
We support people's participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms, and expertise.