Photo: Sven Kubetzko
GENDER EQUALITY AND CHILD RIGHTS
It is the mission of the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) to build a Malawian society and church in which the principles of equality, dignity and distinction are reality. Since the churches of Malawi have the potential to reach millions of Malawians with the message of gender equality, EAM and the Malawi Council of Churches have developed a gender policy manual to promote effective church engagement in gender issues. The policy seeks to address the following topics:
Defining the role of the family in promoting gender equality
The integrity and stability of the state, society and church depends largely on the family. EAM strives to ensure a sound biblical teaching on the role of husband, wife and the family and to implement interventions that promote mutual respect and equal partnership,
that promote skills for effective parenting,
that promote effective ways of conflict solution and
that advocate zero tolerance to all forms of domestic violence.
Training of the clergy/pastors and laity on gender from church perspective
A well trained and skilled clergy is vital for the success of their pastoral activities. EAM supports the development of a theology of gender, promotes theological training for lay men and women, organizes workshops and seminars on gender for the clergy etc. Theological institutes should review their curricula and integrate gender courses.
Promoting socio-economic empowerment
Compared to men Malawian women are less empowered. They have limited access to vocational and entrepreneurial training, to micro-credits and so on. EAM is planning various interventions to empower women, like lobbying the government, supporting women groups, promoting just pay andadvocating women’s rights.
Fighting human trafficking and sexual abuse
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery that spreads over the whole world. Malawi is increasingly affected by this scourge both as a source and as a transit country. Another big problem is sexual abuse of women, boys and girls. It is time to fight this inhumanity through prevention, protection, rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation. The churches must condemn sexual abuse and illegal cheap labour publicly. EAM helps to initiate pastoral ministries for the victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking, to establish help-lines and safe-houses etc. To enlarge the impact EAM partners with the government, NGO’s and civil society organizations.
Promoting the rights of the children and the youth
More than half of the Malawian population are children and teenager. And most of them are heavily affected by exploitation, chronic malnutrition, abuse, limited access to quality education and health, neglect and abandonment by their parents. Among this vulnerable group girls are the most vulnerable. Since the young generation is the future of our nation EAM supports efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violation of the rights of children and youth.