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.
The objective of this intervention was, therefore, to conduct a National Gender Audit indicating the 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
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.