Amplifying the Realities
Malawi ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1987 and has a legal obligation to submit a report every four years on measures taken to implement the Convention. Malawi submitted its 7th State report to the CEDAW Committee in 2014. As with all state reports, shadow reports are compiled to validate the State’s claims and it is the NGOs that make a crucial contribution in monitoring the implementation of the CEDAW in Malawi through shadow reports. A Shadow Report for 2015 has been complied with joint efforts from NGO’s under the NGO-Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) which focuses on thematic areas like women in politics and decision-making, child rights, gender-based violence, gender-related laws, and agriculture and economic empowerment for women, which are a reflection of the rights in the Convention.
Consultants leading the process were Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Educational Trust, Malawi (WLSA Malawi) and the University of Malawi-Faculty of Law, Chancellor College with financial and technical support from the undersigned INGO’s.
A local CSOs Reference Group coordinated by NGO-GCN was formed to support the consultants’ in terms of information, feedback on deliverables in the consultancy process, linking consultants with like minded CSOs’ and ensuring a participatory process.
The consultants carried out workshops with stakeholders in the Northern, Central and Southern regions of Malawi, focus group groups discussions in the rural, peri-urban and urban areas in the three regions stated, key informant interviews as well as literature reviews as part of the research in compiling the shadow report.
The draft shadow report underwent intensive validation processes with the reference group and various stakeholders, and the consultant is now pleased to announce the Joint CEDAW CSO’s Shadow Report for Malawi 2015 has now been submitted to the CEDAW Shadow Committee. A group of experts will present it before the CEDAW Committee on 7th November, 2015
The consultant would like to relay their appreciation to all stakeholders, NGO’s and individuals who spared their time and submitted crucial information towards the compilation of the shadow report. The consultant recognizes the hundreds of women and men across the length and breadth of Malawi who gave in their time to tell us their opportunities, challenges, plights and visions for a better Malawi-their voices have been heard.