Women’s organisations are under-represented in Malawi’s Covid-19 response planning processes and structures, despite government efforts to establish a dedicated ‘Protection Cluster’ to ensure that vulnerable groups are better protected during and post-pandemic.
How we are helping
This project will enable grassroots women’s organisations to participate in the Protection Cluster’s decision-making processes and structures. It will establish a taskforce to review and influence policy and programmes, engaging with relevant Ministries.
About the project
The Government of Malawi responded to the pandemic with a National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, launched in March 2020. It was developed as a cluster system approach and includes a ‘Protection Cluster’ that seeks to protect all vulnerable groups from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect during disasters.
Grassroots women’s organisations are currently under-represented within the Cluster. This prevents women from engaging in the decision making and policy formulation processes at Cluster level; their voices are not heard and their needs, as a vulnerable group, are not adequately catered for within the response plan.
This project aims to enhance the participation of women’s organisations, groups and networks in Covid-19 response planning and decision-making processes.
This will be achieved by:
- Identifying and recruiting grassroots women’s organisations, networks and movements into the Protection Cluster.
- Supporting women-led grassroots organisations to attend physical and online national and district level Protection Cluster meetings to contribute to national response planning and implementation.
- Facilitating the setup of a CSO (civil society organisation) Protection Cluster Taskforce, with a minimum 50% women representation, and with representation of persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups, to undertake a systematic review of key policies, programmes, funds usage and vaccine rollout to assess their Covid-19 and gender responsiveness and suggest reforms.
- Supporting the CSO Protection Cluster Taskforce to create key knowledge products to influence policy and programme reforms – reports, policy briefs, factsheets and reports.
- Supporting ongoing advocacy engagement efforts, led by the CSO Protection Cluster Taskforce, with responsible line Ministries and parliamentary subcommittees.
For Equality (previously Every Girl in School Alliance, EGISA) is a women’s rights organisation that strengthens the individual and collective agency of women to dismantle systems of oppression and attain gender equality through: advocacy and influence; capacity development; knowledge generation and dissemination. For Equality has significant convening and connecting power, which allows it to forge strong connections with women’s organisations from across Malawi. For Equality has been instrumental in strengthening the women’s movement in Malawi, including the launch of SheDecides 2019.
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