**Please note that the photographer and Concern Worldwide's project must both be credited where these images are used.**
Malawi ranks 124th out of 186 countries on the 2012 Gender Inequality Index. Many girls in the southernmost district of Nsanje drop out of school as a result of forced marriages. Thus, there is marked gender disparity in access to essential tools for social and economic development. Indeed, gender inequality permeates the lives of most women and girls in Malawi, manifesting as exclusion from decision-making processes, lack of economic opportunities, low levels of education and high prevalence of violence.
Concern Worldwide’s education programmes in Nsanje seek to enable children, particularly girls and those from marginalised groups, to gain access to education so that they can develop to their fullest potential. To achieve this, Concern is implementing a project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, titled 'Ending School-related Gender-based Violence in Malawi'. School-related gender-based violence represents a considerable barrier to participation in education, gender equality and to the achievement of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals.
The project empowers students to speak out about issues that affect them using the medium of interactive theatre, and also engages men specifically to fight gender-based violence (GBV) as the main perpetrators of GBV themselves.
These images document this work, led by Concern's partner Theatre for a Change, and also allied education work that has sought not only to get more girls enrolled in school but also to keep them there. For example, working with a local organisation called boNGO using funding from The Scottish Government, Concern has created 'Happy Classrooms' designed to bring colour and liveliness to the learning experience.
Also documented is the success story of Alinafe, a young girl who is doing well in school and yet almost dropped out recently to get married.
Note that images are displayed in the order captured, not as a story. Nevertheless, full details of the scene can be found in the captions.