Lilongwe, April 26 – U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine M. Russell will visit Malawi April 26 – 30. She will meet with government officials, local leaders, members of civil society, and students to learn more about the status of adolescent girls – particularly their health, education, and safety. Her trip is part of a new U.S. effort to empower girls in Malawi under the Let Girls Learn initiative, which is championed by First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
“The United States believes strongly that adolescent girls are one of the best investments we can make,” Ambassador Russell said. “We’re committed to working with the Government of Malawi, as well as civil society, community leaders, and girls and their families, to engage and equip girls so they reach their full potential.”
In Malawi, the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues funds a 280 million Kwacha project administered by UN Women. The program supports survivors of gender-based violence through economic empowerment. The Office also funds a 60 million Kwacha project titled “Empowerment and Recognition of Girls in Thyolo as a Basic Tool for Fighting HIV and AIDS and Gender Based Violence” in Thyolo District.
Earlier this year the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief launched three new multi-year programs to empower Malawian girls and young women: a 6 billion Kwacha project empowering girls through education and health known as “ASPIRE”; a 10 billion Kwacha DREAMS project to prevent the spread of HIV to girls and young women; and a 19 billion Kwacha Accelerating Children on Treatment program to ensure that HIV-positive children – boys and girls get the life-saving treatment they need. Moreover, women’s issues are fully integrated into the over 210 billion Kwacha invested in U.S. assistance programs in Malawi annually.
The U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, headed by Ambassador Russell, seeks to ensure that women’s issues are fully integrated in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The Office works to promote peace, prosperity, and security by empowering women politically, socially, and economically around the world. For more information on the U.S. Department of State’s work on global women’s issues, please visit https://www.state.gov/s/gwi/.