The Programme Manager for YONECO, Wezzie Mtonga Kamphale, made a presentation on how YONECO’s Toll free Helplines are contributing towards preventing and responding to Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Malawi at the 63rd Commission of the Status of Women (CSW)  in New York, USA. 

In her presentation, Kamphale highlighted that helplines are an effective tool for addressing VAWG because they are convenient and confidential. Kamphale further stated that the toll free lines provide the much needed safety and security to both the survivor and the whistle-brower. 

In addition to this, Kamphale also acknowledged collaborative efforts and strong linkages that exist between the helpline services and other public services like One-Stop Centres, Police Victim Support Units (VSU), and  the social welfare Services Department among others. 

“As Malawi, we have a workable system that is convenient in responding to VAWG and other countries can learn a number of things from us,” said Kamphale.  

Overtime, YONECO has seen an increase in demand for Helpline services. Thus, apart from the daily work-load, the facility also operates as a Complaints and Feedback Mechanism during disasters and other humanitarian situations accross Malawi.

In her response to the media, Kamphale stated that she has also learnt from others on a number of key issues. The programme Manager stated that there are lessons on domestic financing for social protection services. 

“There is a need to engage the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development in all interventions so that Malawi should have gender sensitive budgets across all sectors,” explained Kamphale. 

Kamphale also added that Malawi has made  a commendable progress and has the most required policies and systems in place. Kamphale concluded by saying that what is key is to continue strengthening the implementation and coordination aspects. 

The 63rd CSW was held at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States of America from 11 to 22 March, 2019. 

The Malawi delegation also included the following; Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare –  Cecilia Chazama, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Esther Mcheka Chilenje as well as the Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development – Grace Chiumia. 

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