HeForShe Impact Champions drive transformation
What happens when over 1.1 million men and boys stand together as HeForShe to create a gender equal world? When one of these men presides over a country, the results can include a landmark change to the Constitution. That was the case in Malawi, where President Arthur Peter Mutharika, an Impact Champion for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, has been a leading force in persuading people to agree, once and for all, to end child marriage.
In 2016, Parliament amended the Constitution to outlaw child marriage at the highest level of the legal system, protecting girls and boys under age 18 from a violation of their human rights. UN Women played a pivotal role during the constitutional review process, providing legal expertise and sponsoring key consultations to move forward a reform that protects girls’ rights, health, education and overall life prospects.
Prior to the constitutional amendment, on the eve of the International Day of the Girl Child in 2016, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson championed the cause by visiting Malawi. She met with traditional chiefs who stop child marriages in their communities as well as girls who have returned to school after marriages are annulled.
Malawi’s laudable move is just one of many around the world propelled by HeForShe champions. Under the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, 10 global business leaders have committed to driving change within and outside their companies. In 2016, this led PwC to boost the share of women on its global leadership board from 18 per cent to 47 per cent. Tupperware Brands reached gender parity at board level; and Twitter implemented a 20-week gender-neutral parental leave policy.