One of the Non-Government Organizations (NGO) in Malawi, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Malawi has attributed most challenges that young girls are facing in the country to poverty.
The organization’s Acting President, Alice Bwanausi, made the sentiments yesterday during training under its Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) Project, which seeks to equip girls with knowledge about gender-related issues including the different scenarios of sexual assault that they need to report to authorities.
According to Bwanausi, poverty is a fueling factor of girls dropping out of school as well as ending up in early marriages.
“Most girls in poverty-stricken homes are forced into situations where they have to take care of themselves. That is why they even end up getting married at an early age. The advent of Covid-19 has made the situation worse as parents are not able to find money due to some of the economic effects of the pandemic. The end result is that these girls end up dropping out of school,” she said.
One of the beneficiaries of the project, 19-year-old Ethel Nantapo, said the project has equipped her with the knowledge of noticing when she is a victim of gender-related issues.
“The project has made me learn a lot about how I can handle gender-related issues that I may be subjected to,” she said.