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Co-funded by the European Union

Tackling gender equality issues at the workplace in Malawi

Location

Malawi

Topic

Women's Economic Empowerment

Status

Completed

Year

2023

Context

In 2014, Malawi passed the Gender Equality Act to ensure that women and men have equal rights under the law, and everyone is treated with dignity. However, cases of sexual harassment and discrimination in workplaces in Malawi are still being reported. One woman in five reported to have experienced some form of sexual violence. Some Malawian companies are facing legal challenges in court on the grounds of gender discrimination.

Objective

The objective of this intervention was, therefore, to conduct a National Gender Audit indicating theĀ nature and prevalence of gender-related issues in the workplace, approaches at workplace and policy level for preventing and managing these.

The technical assistance provided to the Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) included

  • Preparation of a National Gender Audit Report providing evidence of nature and prevalence of gender-related issues in the workplace, approaches at workplace and policy level for preventing and managing these;
  • Facilitation of public private dialogue event to engage of public and private stakeholders to secure agreement on, and commitment to implement actions that are required at policy and industry level;
  • Delivery of a manual and training for ECAM staff, selected members, and partners to tackle gender related issues at the workplaces in Malawi;
  • Preparation of an action plan to provide the road map for tackling gender related issues at the workplaces in Malawi in the next six to eighteen months.

Result

The National Gender Audit Report has provided compelling evidence to ECAM and local stakeholders, empowering them to take action and improve the business environment. The public-private dialogue event kick-started critical discussions among stakeholders, laying the foundation for the establishment of a task force and a capacity-building partnership. These mechanisms are pivotal in driving ongoing improvements in the business environment.

The training sessions and associated manual have successfully built capacity among ECAM staff, selected members, and partners, enabling them to address gender-related issues effectively. This capacity-building initiative will continue to cascade further, reaching a wider audience and driving long-term change.

The action plan serves as a strategic roadmap, outlining concrete actions and key steps for ECAM to implement over the next six months. It provides a clear framework to guide their efforts in creating a more inclusive and gender-responsive workplace environment.