On 17th October 2019, UN Women launched the Perception Study on Social Norms around Violence Against Women and Girls in Malawi in Lilongwe. The aim of the study was to gather baseline information and data on social norms that hinder women and girls’ rights and perpetuates gender inequality and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Malawi. The study was carried out with financial support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy under the Women Economic Program (WEP) 2018-2021.
The event was attended by the Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi, Steinar Egil Hagen, representatives from Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, United Nations representatives, development partners, district commissioners and representatives from civil society organizations. During the launch, The Norwegian Ambassador, Steinar Egil Hagen said that his government is committed to “the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
The UN Women Representative, Clara Anyangwe recognised and commended “the efforts of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Malawi for their continued support towards gender issues, broadly and placing women and girls’ rights at the centre of their cooperation with various governments, including the support to the UN family.”
She said that the study is significant as it “dissects different social norms that are prevalent in all six districts and also complement those that have been reported in the Malawi demographic Survey- only that we have now compartmentalized them specifically per district”.
Anyangwe urged all stakeholders to review the findings and learn how these perceptions, have been captured and how people in these districts perceive them.
The study focuses on six target districts, Karonga, Mangochi, Mzimba, Dedza, Salima and Mulanje which are supported under the WEP. Some critical key norms and findings from the study include cultural practices indicated to “sometimes” or “never” include wife inheritance, bonus wife, wife swapping, removing dust and Fisi and a majority of the respondents think that all or about half of girls/young women get married before 15 years. Findings from this study will be used to inform policy dialogue and programme development, including where and how stakeholders can implement behaviour change projects aimed at promoting favourable social norms and attitudes at community level.
Link to the Perceptions Study on Social Norms around Violence against Women and Girls in Malawi is here.