Although primary education in Malawi is free, there are severe challenges affecting the education sector. Although there are three million children registered at primary school, only 18% enter secondary school and less than 5% will ever receive tertiary education, which has the potential to severely impact Malawi’s future. Additionally, although 52% of the population is female less than half of primary school children are girls and just 5% of those completing tertiary education are young women.
CYD is working with the Government of Malawi to improve education access, equity and quality as a right for young people. We carry out interventions that aim at implementing and disseminating relevant policies for a better education environment.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 164th out of 177 in the Human Development Index. This landlocked, chronically food insecure nation is characterized by high population density, high rates of HIV/AIDS, decreasing soil fertility, increasing exposure to climate change in the form of droughts and floods, and poor transport links to international markets.
Representing 70% of agricultural labor and 30% of all smallholders in Malawi, women play a significant role in the sector that often goes unrecognized. Women farmers also face significant constraints in pursuing their livelihoods, due discriminatory attitudes and practices that favor a male-dominated land tenure system. Women also receive lower wages than men, are allocated the lowest quality plots of land for household crop production and are blocked from producing higher value crops or engaging in agro-enterprise due to high input costs and a male-dominated society.
While these barriers persist, there are also growing opportunities to promote sustainable livelihood security for all (inclusive of Youth and women). Malawi’s Poverty Reduction Strategy demonstrates a commitment to the poor. With this context in mind, CYD is implementing various secure livelihoods strategies in its target districts. The overall objective the programme is to enable more productive and more equitable participation of specific segments of poor youth and women smallholder farmers in sustainable agriculture while simultaneously contributing to their empowerment.