3. GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Malawi Women’s Discrimination Concerns Raised to Committee

Malawi Women’s Discrimination Concerns Raised to Committee
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Malawi Women’s Discrimination Concerns Raised to Committee  Mirage News

Malawi Women’s Discrimination Concerns Raised to Committee

Teenage Pregnancy and Child Marriage

The adolescent birth rate in Malawi is 136 per 1,000 girls and women ages 15-19. This is higher than the regional rate in East and Southern Africa of 94 per 1,000 and more than three times the world rate of 41 per 1,000. Government data from 2019-2020 indicates that 43 percent of women ages 20-49 got married before the age of 18, and 11 percent did so before the age of 15. Pregnancy is both a barrier to girls continuing their education and often a consequence of girls dropping out of school. Numerous studies have shown that the longer a girl stays in school, the less likely she is to be married as a child or become pregnant during her teenage years.

Questions for the government of Malawi:

  1. What steps is the government taking to ensure pregnant girls and adolescent mothers who are at risk of dropping out are socially and financially supported to stay in school?
  2. What special accommodations are provided for young mothers at school, such as time for breast-feeding, flexibility when babies are ill, or flexibility in class schedules?
  3. What programs are in place to ensure access to nurseries or early childhood centers close to schools?

Recommendations for the government of Malawi:

  • Continue to combat child marriage through national strategies, with input from women’s and children’s rights groups, health professionals, and other service providers; and coordinate efforts among all relevant government ministries.
  • Address social, financial, and systemic barriers that inhibit girls who have become mothers from continuing their education.
  • Adopt a continuation policy that allows students who are pregnant, mothers, and/or married to continue their education while pregnant and after giving birth.
  • Ensure that women and girls have access to modern forms of contraceptives and information on sexual and reproductive health rights, including through comprehensive sexuality education at school and in the community.
  • Decriminalize abortion in all circumstances as a matter of urgency.

Government-Endorsed Online Learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in her 2022 report on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, stressed the need to protect the rights of the child in relation to the digital environment, including protection from online violence and exploitation, and respect for their right to privacy. The UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have called upon states “to further develop or maintain, in this regard, preventive measures and remedies for violations and abuses regarding the right to privacy in the digital age that may affect all individuals, including where there are particular adverse effects on women, as well as children and persons in vulnerable situations or marginalized groups.”

Human Rights Watch analyzed Notesmaster, an education technology (EdTech) website that was used by Malawi’s Education Ministry as its primary means of delivering online education to secondary school students during the pandemic. Human Rights Watch found that Notesmaster surveilled children not only within its online learning platform but also tracking them across the internet, outside of school hours, and deep into their private lives. Among these, Human Rights Watch detected Notesmaster transmitting children’s data to Oracle’s BlueKai Data Management Platform, a data broker that has amassed one of the world’s largest troves of data on people online. In addition, Human Rights Watch observed Notesmaster collecting and sending children’s data to Meta (formerly Facebook) through Facebook Pixel, an AdTech tool that could not only be used by Notesmaster to later target its child users with ads on Facebook and Instagram but also allowed Meta to retain and use this data for its own advertising purposes. Notesmaster also deployed “key logging,” a particularly invasive procedure that surreptitiously captures personal information that people enter on forms before they hit submit, much less consent.

Questions for the government of Malawi:

  1. Does the government have plans to amend its proposed draft data protection law to incorporate comprehensive protections for girls and all children?
  2. What recourse or remedy does the government provide, or is planning to provide, to children who have experienced infringements of their rights as a result of their use of Notesmaster and whose data remain at risk of misuse and exploitation?

Recommendations for the government of Malawi:

  • Amend and adopt its proposed draft data protection law to incorporate comprehensive protections for all children, including girls. Such protections should require that any processing of children’s data meet strict requirements of necessity and proportionality, regardless of consent.
  • Provide remedies for children whose data were collected through their use of Notesmaster. To do so, the Education Ministry should:

    • Require Notesmaster to immediately remove all ad tracking technologies from its website and delete any children’s data collected during the pandemic.
    • Immediately notify and guide affected schools, teachers, parents, and children to prevent further collection and misuse of children’s data.
    • Require AdTech companies to identify and immediately delete any children’s data they received from Notesmaster during the pandemic.
  • Ensure that any services that are endorsed or procured to deliver online education are safe for girls and all children. In coordination with data protection authorities and other relevant institutions, the Education Ministry should:

    • Require all actors providing digital educational services to children to identify, prevent, and mitigate negative impacts on children’s rights, including across their business relationships and global operations.
    • Require child data protection impact assessments of any educational technology provider seeking public investment, procurement, or endorsement.
    • Ensure that public and private educational institutions enter into written contracts with EdTech providers that include protections for children’s data.
    • Define and provide special protections for categories of sensitive personal data that should never be collected from children in educational settings.

Right to Free and Compulsory Education

Failing to guarantee free pre-primary and secondary education disproportionately harms girls and women. In a world where too many parents with limited resources face social pressure to prioritize their boys over their girls, school fees can in particular play a factor in keeping girls from school. Excluding children from preschool also hinders parents-overwhelmingly mothers-from engaging in paid employment should they need or choose to do so, or otherwise participating in public life. In its General Recommendation No. 36 (2017) on the right of girls and women to education, this Committee stated that education “should be free and compulsory from preschool through secondary school.”

The Constitution of Malawi and the Education Act state that primary education shall be free and compulsory. Primary education begins at age 6 and lasts eight years. According to the 2020-2030 investment plan for Malawi’s education sector, one of the government’s

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 4: Quality Education
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 4.1: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education.
  • SDG 4.2: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education.
  • SDG 5.3: Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • SDG 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.
  • SDG 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, the following indicators can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

For SDG 4.1:

– Net enrollment rate in primary and secondary education

– Completion rate in primary and secondary education

For SDG 4.2:

– Enrollment rate in pre-primary education

For SDG 5.3:

– Percentage of women married before the age of 18

– Percentage of women married before the age of 15

For SDG 5.6:

– Percentage of girls and women with unmet need for family planning

For SDG 10.2:

– Percentage of girls and women who have experienced infringements of their rights as a result of their use of online learning platforms

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 4: Quality Education 4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education. – Net enrollment rate in primary and secondary education
– Completion rate in primary and secondary education
SDG 4: Quality Education 4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education. – Enrollment rate in pre-primary education
SDG 5: Gender Equality 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. – Percentage of women married before the age of 18
– Percentage of women married before the age of 15
SDG 5: Gender Equality 5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences. – Percentage of girls and women with unmet need for family planning
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status. – Percentage of girls and women who have experienced infringements of their rights as a result of their use of online learning platforms

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: miragenews.com

 

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