The Republic of Malawi adopted a new National Action Plan (NAP) in 2021 for the period 2021-2015. This is the nation’s first NAP, and it was initially decided to develop one in 2016. A National Taskforce and Reference Group was created in order to develop the NAP and the implementation plan. This NAP includes a general background and analysis of global and local instruments related to Women, Peace and Security, as well as the historical, political and cultural context of the country’s need for an implementation plan. The framework of implementation is oriented by a clear methodology, goals, objectives and monitoring and evaluation tools to implement in priority areas. Malawi’s National Action Plan has been developed around four thematic pillars of resolution 1325: participation, protection, prevention, and relief and recovery.
The Republic of Malawi’s NAP is aligned with existing national policies and legal frameworks, such as the Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) and its priority areas which are as follows: Gender; Women and Youth Development; Empowerment of persons with disabilities; Management of HIV and AIDS and nutrition, Environment management; Peace, security and good governance. Malawi developed and adopted a National Peace Policy in 2017 which requires it to comply with international and regional obligations, including UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This compliance is based on the aforementioned thematic pillars of the resolution, as well as equal participation and inclusivity of women in all peace building processes and initiatives.
In terms of historical context, Malawi attained its independence in 1964. It was under a one-party rule until 1994, after a referendum of 1993 to become a multiparty state. Malawi has not experienced an armed conflict, however, the country has been hosting refugees displaced from civil wars from neighboring countries and the Great Lakes Region, among others. Cases of gender-based violence, including sexual violence within the refugee settlements were also reported to be common by stakeholders during the consultative meetings.
National Action Plan (2021-2025)
Global Gender Gap Index 2022
132 out of 146
Arms Trade Treaty
Military expenditure (2019)
$83.30 million USD
Explore Malawi's National Action Plan
For the development of the plan, the Office of the President, Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, and UN Women convened in several meetings to scope out the process. NAPs from selected countries in the Africa Region were reviewed to draw lessons from them. Four stakeholders’ consultative workshops were held in the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern regions to develop goal, objectives and priority areas and key interventions. Consultative workshops were held in five districts known for conflicts which were purposefully selected to get perspectives of the refugees, asylum seekers, and others.
The actors in charge of the process of development of the NAP are the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Cooperating Partners, local and international NGOs, the Office of the President, and the Cabinet. This task force was developed with the objective to speed the process towards implementing the Action Plan and to enhance realization of Women, Peace and Security on all levels. The National Task Force harnessed technical and thematic expertise from various stakeholders involved in peace and security policies and initiatives throughout the country, in alignment with the National Peace Architecture (NPA). For the development of the plan, the Office of the President, Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, UN Women convened in several meetings to scope out the process. In this process, NAPs from selected countries in the Africa Region were reviewed to draw lessons from them. Four stakeholders consultative workshops were held in the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern regions to develop goal, objectives and priority areas and key interventions. Consultative workshops were held in five districts which were purposefully selected to incorporate the perspectives of the refugees, asylum seekers, and others.
The Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare is the institution responsible for the promotion of gender equality in national development and the empowerment of women in Malawi. This Ministry provides overall coordination of the NAP. It will work in collaboration with the Malawi Peace Commission, the Ministry responsible for Civic Education and National Unity. In addition, there will be an independent national coordinating body to ensure the implementation of the NAP.
Monitoring and Evaluation
For monitoring and evaluation, Malawi appointed the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare as well as the Malawi Peace Commission to coordinate the implementation of the NAP. A national coordinating body also is involved in the process of ensuring collaborative engagements between these entities and follow up on the implementation.
The timeframe of the NAP is 2021-2025.
Malawi has formulated its NAP around three strategic areas: an integrated response to violence against women and girls, promotion of economic empowerment, and strengthening of the enabling environment for the effective and sustainable implementation of global commitments on WPS at the national level. The NAP is intended to stimulate focused interventions from various stakeholders and interest groups. Malawi seeks to materialize UNSCR 1325 initiatives at the country level with the support of continental and global efforts on WPS.
The NAP also has six general objectives:
- Enhance accountability and implementation of international and national frameworks on Women, Peace and Security
- Mainstream gender in Women, Peace and Security structures, strategies and processes
- Capacitate state and non-state institutions at all levels to enable them to advance WPS agenda effectively
- Increase the participation of women and girls in decision-making structures in peacebuilding processes
- Prevent and effectively respond to violence against women and girls
- Protect women and girls in conflict and non-conflict and humanitarian situations.
The NAP outlines a range of actions, which include:
- Put in place interventions and measures for increased women’s and girls’ participation at all levels of decision-making in conflict management and peace interventions, including participation in various institutions and platforms at national, regional and international level.
- Create and support platforms that carry out interventions and provide services for the protection of women and girls from sexual violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, and gender-based violence in conflict, refugee camps and other disaster and humanitarian contexts.
- Ensure relief and recovery measures and other humanitarian crises are addressed through gendered lens, while taking deliberate account of the needs of women and girls when designing programmes and settlements for displaced persons during the time of disasters and other humanitarian crises.
- Support the implementation of Gender Related Laws to ensure increased participation
- Train women in district peace committees on WPS and leadership
- Mobilize women and girls and support their adult literacy and numeracy education to enable them to participate in decision-making platforms
- Support the implementation of Gender Related Laws to enhance protection of women and girls
- Strengthen mechanisms that facilitate provision of psychosocial support to victims of disasters and conflict situations
The NAP details the goals and actions for each of the pillars that serve as the foundation of the Project Document, and there is information about the key expected results of each activity. Further, the NAP situates itself within an analysis of the current state of implementation of WPS within Malawi, and indicates which key elements are present or not present within the country's national policies and programming, as indicators for the current level of WPS mainstreaming.
There will be a monitoring and evaluation plan in place for data collection and reporting on the project indicators. The data will include national surveys, and progress reports submitted by institutions and organizations that implement some of the NAP activities. There will be quarterly and annual reports, as well as a mid-term review of the NAP.
The NAP has an implementation plan which includes an overall budget for each of the key interventions regarding the priority area or pillar it belongs to. For example, a key intervention is to implement Gender related laws to ensure increased women’s participation. This priority area is accompanied by other key activities and for this section, the nation has allocated USD 1,352,000.
The NAP does not address disarmament in its objectives or scope of implementation.