Malawi context analysis for accountability interventions to support the delivery of FP2020 commitments

The right to enjoy full, free and informed access to contraceptive information, services and supplies is central to sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as to the right to the highest attainable standard of health. These rights are universal, inalienable and indivisible, and States have a duty to respect, protect and fulfil these rights to the maximum of their available resources. There are a range of barriers and opportunities that either prevent or enable access to FP. Power, governance and accountability and women’s participation and leadership all influence the outcomes and capacity of key actors to deliver for FP.

Malawi has been lauded for adopting many of the necessary policies and strategies and is on track to achieve the overall contraceptive coverage rate of 60% by 2020. Despite this, the real challenge lies in reaching more marginalized groups such as youth, where there is significant unmet need, and in lack of control and choice for women due to unequal gender power relations. For these groups, there are few political or institutional incentives to push forward coordinated and well-resourced programmes that can make a significant step forward for Malawi – due to deeply rooted cultural issues and fragmented institutional set-up.

According to the Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) evaluation of 2014:
• Unmet need for family planning methods among the youth aged 15 – 24 years is 19%
• 31% of the youth would like to have access to family planning but are unable to
• 31.7% of young people have heard of YFHS
• 13% have ever used these services.

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