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.
Adolescent girls also face a lot of challenges in the area of reproductive rights manifested through high incidences of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS. Incidence of HIV occurs at a younger age in females than males and yet often the girl’s interaction with reproductive health services is impeded due to socio-cultural and economic factors. Early pregnancy is another big challenge facing adolescent girls. Girls as young as 11-12 years are having babies. Most adolescent girls are not empowered to make sexual decisions about their lives and cannot negotiate for safer sex. Access to friendly SRH including contraception is very limited to this group.
Most adolescent girls particularly from rural areas generally do not have accurate information about Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.
Traditionally, girls are expected to be less knowledgeable about their sexuality and to have limited control of their body and sexual life, this includes when and who to marry, when to have sex, number of children, whether to use or not use a condom.
GENET works to increase access to essential reproductive health information and utilization of Reproductive health services among adolescent girls. GENET also bring awareness and populize legal international and national instruments such as CEDAW, Africa Youth Charter, CRC, CCJPA among adolescent girls and young women. This will ensure that girls and young women are well aware of their rights and be able to demand it from the duty bearer.