Fellows 2014

Carol KambaCarolyne Tayamika Kamba (Malawi)

Addressing the Linkages between Gender-Based Violence and HIV Infection in Phalombe District

This project aims at reducing gender based violence and HIV infection through addressing the interlinkages in Phalombe district. Phalombe is one of the districts in the southern region of Malawi which has the high prevalence rate of gender based violence (GBV) and HIV infection. While it is universally understood and accepted that traditional and cultural ideologies and practices that promote male dominance and the marginalization of women are key drivers of the epidemic, there is a lack of knowledge in Malawi about how to effectively address these practices in a way that it will increase gender equality and reduce vulnerability of women to HIV infection. As such the policy interventions which government has put in place have only managed to raise a general awareness of HIV& AIDS prevention without embracing the root causes of the epidemic and targeting the right people in the country. Hence in the districts where these power relations are so deeply embedded like in Phalombe, such policy interventions cannot penetrate.

Therefore the project has put in place strategies that will help us achieve these goals which mainly encompasses community participation in capacity building of the service providers, partnership building with chiefs and faith based leaders, awareness raising campaigns and men´s involvement as agents for change. All these will be communicated mainly through the use of a participatory theater for development.


Charity Tawina PhiriCharity Tawina Phiri (Malawi)

Fighting intimate partner violence in traditional authority in Makwangwala, Ntcheu, Malawi

Men’s violence against women has been described as a world-wide epidemic that violates human rights and socio-economic development. Malawi is no exception as surveys show that 64% of women have suffered violence in intimate partner violence (IPV). In the Traditional Authority Makwangwala, harmful notions of masculinity, combined with unequal power-relations and alcohol abuse increase the risk of men using violence against women, especially in intimate partner relationships. The situation is also compounded by factors such as high levels of poverty and traditionally rigid gender roles. The project aims to reduce incidences of IPV in Traditional Authority Makwangwala by 40% by 2017. Taking a human rights-based approach the project will employ the following strategies: Increasing the commitment and capacity of men and boys to play a proactive role in preventing and eliminating Intimate Partner Violence and also education and training to empower women. The project will also engage members of a community with regards to initiatives aimed at challenging harmful beliefs and practices such as beer drinking culture and accepting Intimate Partner Violence as normal in marriage. Furthermore, the aim is to raise public awareness about the nature and extent of Intimate Partner Violence in Ntcheu among women, girls, boys and men, its impact on family and community, and the role of various grassroots institutions such as Community Action Groups, Community Based Organizations, Communities, school authorities, traditional leaders and religious leaders in reducing this impact. Finally the aim is to fully train stakeholders in how to prevent and reduce Intimate Partner Violence, alcohol abuse and to implement preventive strategies within key institutions by 2017.

Emmanuel LikoyaEmmanuel Likoya (Malawi)

Considering gender in climate change adaptation in a society of gender differentiated needs in the Malawian context: Why and how it should matter to researchers and decision makers

The last two decades have been characterised by a growing interest in global warming and climate change as a development agenda. It is beyond doubt, with an overwhelming amount of proven data and findings that the global climate system is changing due to human activity. The impacts of these changes are already being felt in most countries, such as Malawi, whose economy and people’s livelihoods are deeply rooted in the climate system. Global agreements have been reached and national frameworks adopted to combat the impacts. Social dimensions of climate change have however received minimal attention and quite conspicuously missing in most of these policies and frameworks is the gender aspect of climate change yet gender is a central factor in social organisation. The fact that resource distribution patterns and other economic factors revolve around gender makes climate change impacts gendered in one way or another and vulnerability by the same token. This has however been reflected with less attention in research, and decision making has more often than not left out the gender dimension of climate change and its related impacts.

It is against this background that this paper highlights why it should matter to embrace the gender dimensions in climate change management. Highlighting and reflecting on different climate change policies, the paper argues how inadequately gendered these policies are and the impacts they may have on men and most particularly, women who are usually the vulnerable group and most likely to be affected most by the impacts of climate change. Through highlighting common and basic principles, this paper also suggests how researchers and decision makers can use different tools to integrate gender dimension into climate change management to make sure that development is equitable and policies are informed for the better of all. This paper thus offers as a founding building block of knowledge that has to be passed on to frontline researchers, decision and policy makers so to align their activities with different gender needs.

Fidaa AlzaaninFidaa Q. M. Alzaanin (Palestine)

Hand in hand to reduce the incidence of IPV in Beit Hanoun

An overview of women’s rights and violence against women issues in Palestine in general and specifically in the Gaza Strip will be given in this document. This Document aims to provide a background analysis to help in developing effective interventions to combat Intimate Partner Violence. It introduces the main actors, and provides information on women’s status in the economic, health, political, legal and cultural domain and its relation to intimate Partner Violence.

Project focus is on Intimate Partner Violence by men against women because of its prevalence and its severe negative impact on a woman’s life. Project interventions aims to track changes in the actual knowledge about IPV and to focus on IPV against women as a major public health and human rights violation. Intimate partner violence is negatively impacting women’s self-esteem, their physical and psychological health as well as their participation in the community, not to mention the negative impact on the lives of their children and a long term negative consequences as an impact on the progress of the development process of the Palestinian society. Moreover the problem for women in the Gaza Strip is that they are facing high rates of physical, sexual, economic and psychological abuse, in the absence of appropriate measures targeting the prevention of and protection from Intimate Partner Violence.

The project main objective is to decrease the prevalence of IPV in Beit Hanoun city by 30% by the end of the 2017. The implementing organization is ALAtaa’ Charitable Association for Development (ACAD), a non- profit organization that has been working in Beit Hanoun since 2000.The key project strategies for implementation are conducting a study to get adequate data about the prevalence of the problem, and raising awareness through workshops and media campaigns, also building partnership and documentation of the problem.

Hellen NansikombiHellen Nansikombi (Uganda)

Socio-economic empowerment of women through agroforestry in Lira and Pader districts: A post-confliction region in North Uganda

The project focuses on socio-economic empowerment of women through agroforestry in Lira and Pader districts, post-conflict Northern Uganda. The increased dependence on natural resources as a primary source of livelihood has led to environmental degradation in Uganda. Environmental degradation adversely affects food security, income and livelihoods of local communities. Further, given that women are responsible for household food and fuel wood management, environmental degradation increases the burden imposed on them, and in the long run reinforces the gender disparities within the community. Agroforestry has been recommended as an environmentally friendly land management option for improving farm productivity, reducing extreme poverty and hunger along with promoting women empowerment. Recognizing its potential for enhancing human livelihood, the government of Uganda and the African Development Fund (ADF) financed the Farm Income Enhancement and Forest Conservation Project (FIEFOC) project, which promoted tree growing on agricultural landscapes. However, FIEFOC project has done very little to address the gender specific constraints that adversely affect women’s participation in agroforestry, including women’s limited access to natural resources, training, financial credit, as well as restricted decision making power.The project proposal aims to address the gender gap identified within the FIEFOC project. The main objective of the project is to enhance women’s participation in agroforestry by 20% in Lira and Pader districts, Northern Uganda, by 2018. The project will employ a number of interventions including gender analysis, provision of credit to women, community mobilization, awareness raising as well as participatory monitoring and evaluation to promote full participation of men as well as women in agroforestry. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE). MWE will work with the District Forest Services (DFS) and the Local council leaders to ensure effective project execution. The proposed total budget for the entire implementation period (2014-2018) is US$ 2,288,870.


Joseph Kazima

Joseph Kondwani Horace Kazima (Malawi)

Gender Responsive Budgeting (GBR) desk review report: The case of Malawi

The GRB desk review was a worthwhile undertaking for the government of Malawi in view the post 2015 development agenda which calls for transposing priorities such as gender equality of which GRB is particularly fundamental. The desk review scrutinized the Malawi GRB implementation process which was introduced under the premise that CSOs should lead the process based on the recommendation of a multi donor consultancy report which assumed that government was overloaded with donor driven interventions. The design of the GRB implementation process ignored macro level players such as MoF, MoEPD, NLGFC and OPC. The initiative resulted in ailing performance. A SWOT analysis was employed to assess the general performance of the implementation process while an analysis of selected fiscal policy components illustrated the level of potential support of the framework towards GRB. MoH budget analysis conducted earlier by MHEN was adopted to provide evidence of status of GRB implementation at the MDA level. 

The desk review revealed that as a result of the separation of MoF, NLGFC, MoEPD and OPC, a number of aspects which are critical drivers of a successful GRB implementation process such as leadership, coordination and capacity were significantly compromised. A prescription was suggested adopting a multifaceted approach in order to address the identified challenges comprising meaningful political commitment; effective leadership and coordination; comprehensive capacity development; economic policy review; effective partnerships; CSOs and media engagement for advocacy; local community engagement; and pioneering and piloting. A specific recommendation of particular interest within the aforesaid broader recommendations included the establishment of “village GRB clubs” at grass root level as entities for interfacing with local councils on issues related to the annual budget. The desk review concluded that effective leadership designated to the right agency could be a critical success factor of a GRB implementation process.


Laureen Karayi

Laureen Karayi (Uganda)

A sexual and reproductive health and rights issue in Uganda: The situation of maternal health

The Beijing Platform for Action and the International Conference on Population and Development Plan of Action marked a paradigmatic shift in the women´s rights struggle in recognizing sexual and reproductive health (SRH), particularly maternal health, as a key human right, which must be prioritized to advance development efforts and achieve gender equality. Two decades later, 6000 women in Uganda continue to die annually giving birth from preventable complications, the leading cause of maternal death in young women aged 15-19 years. This suggests that the Government of Uganda is failing to comply with the health obligations and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5a target that it has committed to for its citizens. This paper analyses the SRH related legal and policy frameworks in Uganda vis á vis the unequal gender relations deeply rooted in social, cultural and patriarchal patterns where the most oppressed, women, are denied their core right, the right to life. The paper will use an analytical gender perspective and human rights based approach to argue for the need to amend the policies and programmes already in place, the need to address the roots of oppression buried in gender systems and sex stereotyping and address the gender discriminatory practices that still prevail through enactment, resourcing and implementation of gender responsive laws, policies and programmes.


Luis AbrantesLuis Carlos Alberto Abrantes (Mozambique)

Gender and disability: An intersectionality approach in Mozambican context

Research on the status of disabled women is lacking in Mozambique and in Africa in general. Their access to basic human rights, economic and social services such as employment, health and education remains poor and they are more likely to be victims of violence, to live in poverty and social exclusion than men with disability or women who are not disabled. In spite of this situation disabled women are neither targeted by the feminist movement nor the disability movement and they are absent in both gender public polices and public disability policies in Mozambique. This essay analyses the possibilities of an intersectional approach between the fields of gender and disability. Based on international and national legislation on gender and disability, the essay examines how the public policies as well as the national mechanisms on gender equality and disability address issues on women and girls with disability. It is suggested that intersection of gender and disability in public policies and the mainstreaming of gender in disability policies as well as the mainstreaming of disability in gender polices is useful to promote effective gender equality and women’s empowerment. In this way an inclusive development that ensures participation of all women in the developing process will be promoted.


Martha Silesia PedroMarta Pedro Phiri (Mozambique)

Enhancing the gender perspective in disaster risk management and climate change in Mozambique

Environmental disasters do not discriminate between people although people do. Women, men, girls and boys belong to different social, economic, cultural and religious strata, and thus, the way they are affected by, and cope with, environmental calamities is different. This paper argues that if Mozambique´s disaster management sector does not pay attention to gender issues, women and girls will continue to be the ones most affected by natural disasters. Not only are they more likely to lose their lives during such calamities but such disasters do also cause a double burden for women and girls, who are responsible for numerous unpaid activities, such as providing water, firewood, food and taking care of the household. However, despite these negative facts of gender inequality, the paper argues that natural disaster risk management can present an opportunity to shift the common perception that women are weak and merely victims of natural disasters, towards a perception of women that highlights their skills and capabilities to work towards the reduction of disaster risk. Thus, the paper, which is influenced by gender and development theory, reflects on how women are affected by disasters and how their skills and capacities are of value in the process of disaster risk reduction in Mozambique, in times when the effects of climate change are being increasingly felt in the form of more frequent and intensifying environmental calamites, such as floods, droughts and cyclones. Finally, it advocates the importance of a gender sensitive approach where both women and men work together towards gender equality while addressing and mitigating the risks of climate change and natural disasters.


MicasMicas Januário Pacule (Mozambique)

Gendering co-management of the fishery resource in Chicamba village in Mozambique

In Mozambique the fisheries sector plays an important role in alleviating poverty and improving livelihood of local people. The aim of the Ministry of Fisheries is to increase food security and nutrition, improve living conditions of fishing communities and contribute to economic growth and sustainable development of the country. The over exploitation of fish in inland waters needs an intervention, as well as the use of inappropriate fishing gear, threatening the sustainability of the fishery resource. In developing countries women are commonly more involved in inland than marine fisheries. Hence, gender difference in the use and control of the inland fishery resource and in fishing gear used needs to be addressed as part of efforts to improve management of this natural resource. The aim of the pilot project is to develop gendered co-management of the fishery resource in Chicamba dam in Mozambique. Local women have limited presence in management forums, where fishermen, village leaders and staff of the provincial branch of the Ministry of Fisheries meet. The Chicamba village has been selected for the project because of the intensity of fisheries activities, increased use of mosquito nets for fishing, especially by women, and the author´s familiarity with the local context. The gender approaches used focus on context specific gender analysis and research on social inclusion of both local men and women in co-management.


Milly KayangaMilly Kayanga (Uganda)

Male involvement in sexual and reproductive health

Male involvement is sexual and reproductive health is affected by sociocultural-, demographic-, economic- and service delivery factors. The project draws attention to the lack of male involvement in sexual and reproductive health represented in high fertility rates and it includes issues like: communication problems and inadequate use of modern contraception. And it is due to lack of communication that men and women do not understand their joint responsibilities and how to become equal partners in public and private life. The project´s goal is to achieve greater involvement of males in family planning services and their shared responsibility regarding reproductive health by 2018 in Mayuge district in Uganda. And the above will be achieved through activities such as training of staff at family planning services, formation of male action groups, training of staff at family planning services, and training of couples in partner communication skills,. A baseline survey will be done at the start of the project and then annually including men at all times but their wives at certain time points. The project will be run by the Ministry of Health but in cooperation with agencies USAID, UNFPA and CEDOVIP.


Mohammad AljanazrehMohammad A. M. Aljanazreh (Palestine)

Economic empowerment for widows and divorced women in the AL-Fawwar camp

The problem for Palestinian women in gender equality and women’s rights is defined by two main interrelated forces: the Israeli occupation, and internal patriarchal control. Women activists in Palestine are fighting simultaneously on two fronts - political and social. They remain unsure about a feminist agenda that primarily focuses on individual and social gender empowerment and instead confirm that gender inequality in their context come not only from patriarchal oppression, but from poverty, economic dependency, continued political violence, insecurity and instability caused by Israeli occupation. Israeli occupation policies of territorial (and political) fragmentation, spatial separation and mobility restrictions have systematically dispossessed, occupied and destroyed Palestinian living spaces, breaking up Palestinian territory into several unconnected and isolated cantons. Such policies of spatial control have a severe damaging impact on Palestinian economy (Roy, 2004), society, family and kinship organization (Johnson, 2006), but also on women’s activism. Women are not only divided geographically (between – and within – the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Diaspora), but, more importantly, their status varies greatly. Refugees, West Bank and Gaza ‘citizens’, East Jerusalemites and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship all have different access to rights. This wide variation limits women activists’ efforts to organise a united agenda. So the special standing of refugees and ‘citizens’ in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem will be mapped out. This does not cover Palestinian women’s rights and issues of gender equality inside Israel or the Diaspora. So women’s rights in Palestine cannot be dealt with in isolation as the impact that the occupation and political conflict have on women’s legal, social, cultural, educational, economic and political status is very important when looking for possible strategies to empower women. This is not to say that patriarchal structures and cultures are not a major concern for Palestinian women’s activist. On the contrary, it highlights that women’s empowerment in the Palestinian context and their struggle for equal rights is closely linked to their political and economic empowerment which can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation.

The idea of the project came in dealing with widows and divorced in Al-Fawwar camp, because this category suffers from economic, psychological, and difficult social conditions. Economically there is no source of income especially after losing their spouse, which reflect negatively on their economic life. Psychologically: widows and divorced women have lost their spouse, so they have lost security, safety and stability in their life which will reflect negatively on their psychological life for example with attendant depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Socially: after losing their spouses, widows and divorced women have had the responsibility of caring and raising children transferred to them. This thing makes them live under psychological pressure, continuously thinking about ways to buy what their children need, and sometimes widows and divorced women are forced to ask for help from relatives and neighbors and to accept money from those people. This causes them shame, and makes them vulnerable to exploitation from pad people in the society. Therefore, the main goal of the project is economic empowerment for widows and divorced by giving them vocational training courses, to enable them to gain skills, qualify them to launch economic projects or get a job. This will strengthen their self-confidence, make them open to the world and strengthens their personality. They can compete with men in all fields and have greater awareness and ability to claim their rights. In addition they change from being a marginalized group to an active group and have an impact in the community, with an ambition to achieve human rights equality between men and women.


Mzati MbekiMzati-Kidney Mbeko (Malawi)

Diverse needs- equal opportunities: Supporting the retention of vulnerable girls in schools in Mangoochi district in Malawi

Despite 20 years of free primary education in Malawi, many vulnerable girls are either out of school or on the brink of dropping out. The problem is rooted in misogynistic patriarchal attitudes which permeate even the education system; gender-blind education policies abound to bear witness. Imbued in positive discrimination, the current proposal embarks on an initiative to retain 250 vulnerable girls in 5 primary schools in Mangochi District in Malawi. With a total budget of €50.835,00 the project adopts cost effective Open Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL) strategies and resources such as self-study guides, peer group learning, a buddy system, and ‘school-in-a-bag’ in a bid to make formal schooling inclusive and friendly to vulnerable girls. The proposed intervention model encourages collaboration of all relevant stakeholders at school and community levels to establish “circles of support” around vulnerable girls on the brink of dropping out of school. These “circles of support” are meant to enhance the school and community’s capacity to identify, monitor and offer emotional support to vulnerable girls (Jere, 2011). Grounded in the critical notions of Amartya Sen’s capability approach, this intervention is likely to result is in increased appreciation of gender equality and equity in the schools and in turn will increase access to schooling among vulnerable girls. Successful implementation of this project is crucial in expanding the choices vulnerable girls in Malawi will make in their lives.


Yananda MadhlopaYananda Nana Madhlopa (Malawi)

Curriculum for Bachelor in Gender

Human Ecology is one of the three academic departments of the faculty of Food and Human Sciences of LUANAR. The department has the mandate of providing high quality training in Human Ecology. The department will also strive to lead in research and consultancy in the areas of textiles, consumer’s issues, gender and child care and households in Malawi. Bachelor of Gender and Development will be located within this department. This is because Human Ecology department (formerly known as Home Economics) has in the past partnered with Government of Malawi to build capacity of gender professionals. However locating this programme in Human Ecology department has got its own challenges. Feminists feel the discipline of home economics exists to strengthen and reinforce masculine views of women’s roles thus most radical feminists call for the abolition of this field of knowledge altogether. However its existence in this department can be justified on the basis that in Human Ecology we study families. Families are the centre of inquiry and as we do that we discover that issues of inequalities that exist between men and women are evident thus requiring a strategy to deal with them. In understanding how families work and function we have an opportunity to be informed in our desire for gender equality. Therefore the fight for gender equality has to start in the private spheres for it to be real in the public spheres.