In the project of the Family Federation of Finland, boys and men in particular are encouraged to question traditional gender roles and challenge their own attitudes. Girls’ choices have traditionally been narrow and their future is often tied to motherhood. Indeed, girls have been informed about alternative perspectives at girls’ conferences or peer groups in schools, as young women who have ended up on very different career paths have told about their lives. Many girls say they got tips from this for their own new dreams.
Located in sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, although it has been able to develop its economy and people’s living conditions in recent years. However, poverty and inequality remain strong. 66% of the population is under the age of 24, which puts great pressure on state structures.
From the sexual rights perspective, the biggest challenges are teen pregnancies, high maternal mortality, child marriages, high numbers of HIV positive people, and gender violence. Legal abortions are virtually prohibited in the country, which increases the number of dangerous abortions. Same-sex relationships are criminalized by law, and rainbow people experience violence and the threat of it on a daily basis.
In Malawi, approximately 40% of girls and women have experienced gender or sexual violence. Underlying the phenomenon are negative attitudes towards girls and women, gender inequality and narrow gender roles and norms.