Malawi Launches Shedecides Movement in Lilongwe

17 November 2019

Four like-minded non-governmental organisations have launched a movement, which aims to contribute towards improving the life of the girl-child through promotion of sexual reproductive health rights and comprehensive education

SheDecides Malawi movement ambassadors take a picture in front of the banner Her Liberty executive official Hastings Banda giving an interview to a journalist

The organisations include Her Liberty, Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM), Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM) and Plan International.

The launch took place at the Lilongwe Golf Club on Saturday and was characterised by glamour, pomp and splendor replete with live performances.

SheDecides Malawi is a national movement of a consortium of like-minded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and is aimed at

Her Liberty executive official and the movement's taskforce member, Hastings Banda, disclosed that SheDecides Malawi is part of the larger network of SheDecides, which is a global political movement driving change fuelled by community actions and with young people at its heart.

Banda observed that girls, particularly those living in the rural settings, continue to suffer teenage pregnancies that shatter their future.

"The movement wants girls to be able to decide for themselves without question what they want to do for this will guarantee them a bright future. Yes, other organizations are already having a lot of interventions to promote the welfare of girls but if the girl child is not empowered to decide for herself, such interventions are bound to fail," said Banda.

Banda emphasised that if Malawi wants to contribute to the achievement of the Agenda 2030, which seeks to leave no one behind, the country must largely involve girls because they are the most vulnerable.

"Our strategy is that we will work with chiefs, policy makers and parliamentary committees of women caucus and gender among which we have indentified SheDecides champions who will help us to advance our agenda," he said.

One of the girls who attended the launch, Chifundo Sibande, expressed excitement at the coming in of the SheDecides Malawi movement.

"It is pleasing to see that all manner of people including men and boys came to grace this event, demonstrating that they are equally concerned with the plight of girls and want to contribute to reducing their suffering. I urge fellow young girls not to look down upon ourselves," said Sibande.

"Even though we may be already pregnant or having babies, it is not too late. Let us continue believing in ourselves and that we can do it," she added.

Since its inception in 2017, over 120,000 individuals and organisations have signed the global SheDecides manifesto, pledging to create an enabling space where girls and women decide for themselves about their bodies and their lives.

Furthermore, SheDecides has successfully mobilised approximately $450million in additional funding from a range of governments and individuals, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and others to help bridge the void.

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