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The Gender Division coordinates the implementation of the Girls Education and Women Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) Project. The GEWEL Project aims to support the Government of Zambia to increase access to livelihood support to women and access to secondary education to disadvantaged girls in selected districts. The Project has three Components namely Supporting Women’s Livelihood (SWL) which is administered by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services; Keeping Girls in School (KGS) under the Ministry of General Education and Institutional Strengthening and System Building (ISSB) under the Gender Division.

Due to the successful implementation of the GEWEL Project, Additional Financing using a Multi-Donor Trust Fund was secured from the World Bank International Development Agency (IDA) in July 2020.  The second phase of the Project runs from 2020 to 2024 and focusses on scaling up access to livelihoods support from 75,000 women in 51 districts to 129,400 women in 81 districts. Further, the Project will expand coverage of bursaries from 14,000 girls in 27 districts to 43,000 girls in 39 districts. Additionally, in order to cater for school-related costs, annual education grant at the beginning of the academic year will be provided for each KGS beneficiary. The second of the Project has an additional component that will supplement the Government’s Social Cash Transfers (SCT) Programme to approximately 245,000 out of 700,000 beneficiaries to improve their consumption and resilience.                                   Download the GEWEL PHOTOBOOK that was launched on  4th May 2022 to showcase some of the projects achievements over the years.

The Keeping Girls in School (KGS) Component is aimed at increasing access to secondary education for disadvantaged adolescent girls between the ages of 14 and 21 in extremely poor households in 39 selected districts where the Social Cash Transfer Scheme operates. As of December 2021, a total of 38,551 KGS beneficiaries (girls) had their school fees paid. Since inception of the Project a total of 58,974 beneficiaries have been sponsored.

The Supporting Women’s Livelihoods (SWL) Component builds on existing Government structures to support women’s livelihood productivity and economic empowerment. The Component finances a comprehensive package of activities for beneficiaries, including context-specific training in business and life skills, provision of productivity grants, mentoring and peer support, and facilitation of savings groups.


In the period under review a total of seventy thousand three hundred and sixty-one (70,361) women beneficiaries had received their SWL packages in 81 districts in all the 3 phases of the component.


The Institutional Strengthening and System Building (ISSB) Component aims to improve linkages between programmes that offer complementary support to beneficiaries in order to ensure self-sustainability.

In the year under review the Ministry coordinated the GEWEL GBV Action Plan that aims to mitigate and respond to GBV risks of the Project.  In view of this the, the Ministry in 2020 rolled out of the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) to all Project districts in order to allow beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries to complain about the Project.  As at December 2021, a total of 1,161 complaints were recorded of which 353 were for KGS, 644 were for SWL and 164 were complaints that were not related to the Project. The category of complaints includes exclusion, wrongful inclusion, fraud and corruption and serious complaints such as gender-based violence. Since the inception of the GRM a total of 31,743 complaints have been reported.

Further, the Ministry continued to update the GBV Referral Pathways in all the GEWEL implementing districts. GBV Referral Pathways seek to gather information on available support services and structures in each district for GBV survivors, map the institutions that make up the referral pathway including the scope of training(s) attended and identify gaps in survivor-centered services for GBV survivors. As at December 2021, the Ministry had trained and collected data from 47 SCT districts.