International Day of the Girl Child: documentary in Malawi
On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), the Diplomatic Representation of Flanders, in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Malawi and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, organised five screenings of the documentary “A Girl’s Gaze”. The documentary was shot in November 2020 by Flemish journalists Roel Nollet and Anke Dirix, in close collaboration with Malawian journalist Ezaius Mkandawire. It focuses on the impact of climate change on gender-based violence and sexual exploitation of girls in Malawi, whilst also addressing issues of child marriage and human trafficking.
The opening night screening in Lilongwe on 11 October took place in the presence of H.E. Madame Monica Chakwera, the First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, and herself a champion of the rights of young girls in Malawi, as well as Honourable Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare. H.E. Madame Monica Chakwera called upon everyone to take a stand against child marriage.
The journalists, together with the organisation Chance for Change that features in the documentary, furthermore organised three school screenings, followed by awareness-raising workshops, in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mangochi that were well-attended by learners between 12 and 16 years old.
In her opening remarks to the screenings, General Representative Geraldine Reymenants stressed the importance of skills development and empowerment in the fight against gender-based violence, stating that “it lessens their vulnerability to abuse, makes girls resilient and enables them to build their lives and to shape their hopes and dreams. Empowered girls become confident women who contribute to their communities, who nurture and care for their loved ones, and raise the future generation.”