I am very happy to have this opportunity to voice out what has been and is still burning in my heart concerning positive change for women in Malawi and other developing countries.

I am a new member of World, a Malawian residing in Malawi. I discovered this site this year when searching for scholarships for higher Education (MBA) on my journey to becoming one of the key players in policy and decision making forums in Malawi and raise the voice of women crying for help!

The welcoming message from Jade Frank inviting me to write this letter to you has motivated me and opened my eyes that indeed the chance is there to raise the voice today and now even before the MBA.

Malawi is miles away from achieving Gender equality and women/ girl empowerment due to Lack of Education, Poverty and Cultural values.

Women in Malawi have limited chances to get into higher positions due to poverty and lack of relevant qualifications. Few women who manage to secure higher positions struggle to get their voices heard and needs met due to gender imbalances in most organisations, politics and decision making positions. In most instances they have to push for recognition but are barred to compete with men for higher positions. Read more: - Campaign - against -female - vice- president - a - campaign - against- equality.

Maureen Kwangwanya. Blantyre, Malawi.

I am a Yao by tribe (one of the ethnic groups in Malawi) and have grown up believing that a woman's place is the Home where she looks after the household and kids while a man is a provider in the home and is entitled to good education and good job to take care of the wife and children. Because of this most families of this tribe emphasise more on boy education exposing young women to early marriages, early pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and high infant mortality rate. These young women need a voice to empower them.

Although the Malawi Government introduced free primary school education for all years ago, the problem is that secondary and tertiary education has to be paid for. Most girls drop out after attaining primary school certificate due to lack of funding.

In rural areas, access to education is also a challenge to a girl child considering that good schools are far away from their homes such that walking long distances increases school drop out. Inadequate infrastructures and lack of manpower contributes to low quality education.

My plea to the UN Women is to reach out and touch the young women of Malawi and other developing countries facing these problems to attain better education so that the gender imbalances in policy and decision making positions is minimised - striving to accomplish the positive change for UN women in the coming years.

As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale. Learn more:

Take action! This post was submitted in response to UN Women: Visions and Recommendations.

Comment on this Post


Dearest Maureen,

Thank you for participating in this campaign, by using your voice and speaking out for women of the Maldives, and being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Your letter is so powerful and we are so proud to have your voice among us.

In the coming weeks, we will compile your letters and share your voices with the GEAR Campaign, who have been working closely with UN Women to ensure the inclusion of civil society groups, and through the PulseWire community, grassroots women leaders, as they set their agenda. We will also be sending your letters directly to Michele Bachelet and other senior leaders of the newly formed UN agency, to demonstrate the effectiveness for sourcing opinion, knowledge and needs from the global grassroots women's movement through our online community. Through this, we hope to open a portal for our community to have a direct line of influence within the UN Women agency.

I will keep you updated on the progress of our campaign!

In friendship and solidarity, Jade

Just wondering... Are you a Maldivian or a Malawian - I am assuming from the post you have written that you could be a Malawian residing in Maldives. Your concerns for Malawi is very similar to the issues of Maldives too...

I was so pleased to see more Maldivians joining this forum...yet reading your post is posing a question.

Just clarifying. All the best.

In friendship. Amei