Girls Empowerment Network Malawi exists to amplify the voices of adolescent girls and young girls to reach decision making tables. We have been involved in building and creating a grassroot network of girls and young women advocates. We want to give the adolescent girls a voice and a platform where their thoughts and voices are heard. We believe that girls should be properly armed to fight the injustice and inequalities they face in order to achieve positive social transformation and be the change they want to be.
Teenage girls in Malawi are three to five times more likely to be infected with the virus that causes AIDS than boys their age. According to reports, young people aged 15-24 counted for 41% of new HIV infection and over 60% of this percentage was adolescent girls. Adolescent girls become sexually active before the age of 15 years but they do not have adequate information on sexuality and lack skills to negotiate for safer sex to prevent HIV infection.
Communication for social change and promoting and encouraging girls to delay sex and early marriage are the two strategies GENET has adopted to prevent HIV transmission among adolescent girls. Adolescent girls are empowered with life skills and information through peer education trainings as well as girls’ network dialogue forums.