LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi media has been dared to advance the girl child education agenda through effective reporting, for the country’s better future.
Save the Children Country director Tina Yu, made the challenge to the press over the weekend during this year’s MISA Malawi Gala Awards, in the capital Lilongwe, to mark the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3 yearly. The day was commemorated in Malawi on May 6, 2017.
Tina Yu, whose organization sponsored the Media Awards’ “the Girl Child Education” category, emphasized the need for the press to uncover critical issues affecting young girls’ education, particularly in primary schools where school drop out rates, remain high.
Yu, who said she was raised differently in a family of girls, again challenged the media on gender equality reporting, to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5.
She reminded the media about the theory that if you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.
Tina Yu said that this was the reason Save the Children sponsored a category on girls’ education, for the media to raise the awareness to the fact that investing in girls education, is investing in Malawi’s future.
“In Malawi, dropout rates for girls in standard 7, are nearly double to that of boys; that 8 out of 10 girls that are lucky to attend secondary school, dropout. That’s why I want to talk about a program that Save the Children is doing with the generous funds by Department for International Development (DfID) from the UK. This program is about keeping girls in school. It’s about looking at the barriers & challenges that girls have in completing their primary education, to move onto secondary education.
“The media has the role to play in raising awareness on gender equality, where girls and boys feel they are the same, with limited resources, while changing cultural or social limitations for higher expectations.
“This is the reason we sponsored a category on girls’ education. We thank you, the media for raising the awareness that investing in girls education, is investing in Malawi’s future,” Tina Yu said.
In the “Girl Child Education category,” Bobby Kabango and Alick Ponje of Nation Publication Limited (NPL), and Times Grouping for print and electronic media respectively walked away with laptops for the award.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Richard Msowoya, Minister of Information who is also government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, Save the Children and American Embassy officials graced the MISA Malawi Gala night.
Most winners in all the categories walked away with cash, laptops, TV decoders, and a trophy. These were tokens of appreciation for their work demonstrated in the past year in their duties of bringing out critical issues affecting the general public through writing and radio special reports.