Girls Activist Youth Organisation has launched a project dubbed Action Women Economic Empowerment to support women and girls in Mchinji District to venture into small-scale businesses.
Speaking on Monday during a district gender technical working group meeting, the organisation’s field officer Ellen Munthali said the project seeks to reduce women’s economic dependency on men.
Therefore, she said the organisation will empower women and girls to have financial capital to start small-scale businesses.
Said Munthali: “Most women and girls are poor and illiterate, which increases dependency levels on their husband.
“So, the project will link microloan institutions to women in village savings and loans groups.”
Mchinji District Gender Technical Working Group chairperson Maudling Nhlema, who is also district youth officer, commended the organisation for the project.
He said most women and girls are the hardest hit by gender-based violence (GBV) and usually stay in abusive marriages because they have no other place to turn to.
“The rationale of the project is good because it is responding to some of the challenges women and girls are facing,” said Nhlema.
However, he said non-governmental organisations should come up with inclusive projects.
“Many projects are targeting women and girls leaving out men and boys, but these men and boys are the thorns that may frustrate the projects,” said Nhlema.
One of the participants, Mchinji district sports officer Martin Panyanja said that women and girls are vulnerable to GBV because they depend on men and their families for financial help.
“If a woman or a girl is economically independent, they can escape from GBV,” he said.
The NGO will implement the project with funding from Urgent Action Fund Africa.
The project will run for six months in traditional authorities Pitala, Nyoka and Kapondo in the district.