On Nov. 25, I represented the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) as a volunteer for the VOICE for Women and Girls Program at the 2023 launch of the global campaign for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Malawi.
The event brought together key stakeholders on issues of gender and women’s and girls’ rights and was held in Mzimba District located in northern Malawi. The Minister of Gender, Community Development, and Social Welfare, the Honourable Jean Sendeza, used this event to challenge men and boys to take active roles in the fight against gender-based violence. She urged them to serve as good role models by openly speaking against practices that perpetuate gender discrimination and inequality. The minister emphasized that the campaign against gender-based violence is not meant to put girls and women above boys and men. Rather, it is aimed at creating an environment where both genders can live with dignity and thrive.
Also in attendance were CDF Canada’s Regional Program Co-ordinator, Rose Msosa, and Phaskani Nyirenda from the Malawi Federation of Co-operatives (MAFECO), CDF Canada’s local partner.
CDF Canada is doing tremendous work in facilitating financial inclusion and sustainable livelihoods for marginalized girls and women through capacity strengthening. In addition, women from co-operatives sharing their experiences and achievements in future forums would be a powerful way of communicating CDF Canada’s impact to the Government of Malawi and to other stakeholders.