Malawi has one of the highest adolescent birth rates in Africa, and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of many adolescent girls and young women continue to be undermined and violated by a range of factors. These include humanitarian situations, stigma and discrimination, harmful gender norms and practices, and a lack of awareness, education and engagement, particularly among men. Adolescent girls and young women are also vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence, which, like many other places in the world, often goes unreported.
The iHEARD project aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of adolescent girls and young women in Malawi by helping them to make informed decisions about their lives and bodies. Through local partnerships in the health, communication and education sectors, this project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Malawian families and communities nationwide.
Farm Radio International will be managing the iHEARD project’s communications component by working with Farm Radio Trust and different radio stations to deliver interactive, informative and educational SRHR campaigns, along with running communications campaigns with our other partners Girl Effect, Viamo, and Women and Children First.
In the health sector, the UK-based MSI Reproductive Choices and their local partner, Banja la Mtsogolo, will improve the quality and accessibility of SRH services through clinics nationwide. UK-based Women and Children First and their local partner, MaiKhanda, will mobilize communities in SRHR problem-solving at the community level.
In the education sector, CODE and their local partner, Forum of African Women Educationalists Malawi, will improve gender-transformative education, with a focus on empowering teachers, supporting SRHR knowledge, and combating sexual and gender-based violence.
0Radio programs aired nationally
0members of participatory learning and action groups
0Calls to a SRHR contact centre
Protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls will help them to achieve more equitable access to and control over the resources they need to secure economic and social equality.
Weekly radio programs, radio dramas, call-in segments all produced and broadcast in local languages will educate listeners and raise awareness of the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls, while promoting the uptake of gender-transformative, age-appropriate SRHR behaviours and practices.
Our radio resources team will also develop content and training resources including radio dramas, Barza Wire stories and backgrounders to support our broadcasting partners deliver gender-sensitive and gender-balanced programming in Malawi.
iHEARD aims to collaboratively dismantle barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights for Malawian girls and women, and to support them in making informed sexual and reproductive health decisions about their lives and bodies. The project will be delivered across Malawi, with a particular focus in the Central Region districts of Dowa, Ntchisi and Lilongwe to support gender-transformative, age-appropriate SRHR behaviours and practices, including demand for increased SRHR services. The project will also improve the quality and availability of SRH services and care from health care providers, and support boys, men, and women’s rights organisations to advocate for improved SRHR policies and services.
The project’s ultimate outcome is the increased realisation of secual and reproductive rights for vulnerable Malawians, with a particular focus on adolescent girls and young women.
- Increased uptake of gender-transformative, age appropriate SRHR behaviour and practices, including increased demand for these services by adolescent girls and young women.
- Improved provision of gender-responsive, inclusive and accountable SRH services by health care providers
- Improved effectiveness of key stakeholders, including women, girls, adolescent boys, young men, alongside women’s and girls’ rights organisations to advocate for evidence-based, accountable, gender-responsive SRHR policies and services.