Now, more than ever, addressing gender equality is a priority agenda for  development in Africa. There is compelling evidence indicating that enhancing gender equality in Africa could yield significant economic benefits, potentially adding $315 billion to its annual GDP by 2025.  


Across the continent, entrenched gender norms and discriminatory practices have resulted in the multifaceted marginalisation of women and girls. Women continue to earn less than men and encounter limited access to essential healthcare and educational opportunities. Notably, UNESCO reports that 23% of girls dropped out of primary schools in sub-Saharan Africa, a higher rate compared to 19% of boys. By the time girls reach adolescence in secondary schools, they face an even higher exclusion rate of 36% compared to boys, with a rate of 32%. 


For Malawi, the secondary school enrolment rate in Malawi remains extremely low, with only 15% of the student population (387,569 students) attending. Out of these, girls make up only 34% (131,773 students), with most dropping out of school due to teenage pregnancies and child marriages. The adolescent birth rate by 2021 was approximately 118 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 years. Adolescent pregnancies were also projected to contribute to 15% of the maternal death rate in Malawi, estimated at 381 per 100,000 live births. These disparities have far-reaching consequences, contributing to higher rates of HIV/AIDs among girls and young women, preventable maternal deaths related to teenage pregnancies, and alarming levels of gender-based violence. Addressing these intersecting issues is crucial to unlocking the potential of adolescent girls, promoting their rights, and ensuring their holistic development..

The First Ladies across  African countries , including Her Excellency  Madam Monica Chakwera, the First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, have demonstrated substantial commitment and involvement in driving gender equality. Their efforts have positioned the Organization of African First Ladies (OAFLAD) to wield considerable influence and drive bold, positive transformations. Collaboratively, they have launched a unifying campaign, #WeAreEqual, to close the gender gap in education, health, economic empowerment, and gender-based violence in Africa.




Empower adolescent girls and young women with skills, knowledge, and resources to aspire for the highest education attainment, workforce and become economically independent.


Mobilize all partners and high-level stakeholders to influence public discourse on access to quality and equitable education, health, and economic empowerment opportunities among girls and women.

Raise awareness

Raise awareness of the community’s role in advancing girls’ education, sexual and reproductive health and eliminating gender-based violence against girls and women.