Home » EmGENDER Blog » #EveryDaySexism » The Development Fund of Norway (Utviklingsfondet) in Malawi response to the #OpenLetter

The Development Fund of Norway (Utviklingsfondet) in Malawi response to the #OpenLetter

@EmGENDER on Twitter


EmGender has just received this response:

We would like to acknowledge receipt of your open letter sent to us, today, November 2, 2015 in view of the use of the term “single” in our advert for the Young Women Internship Scheme (YWIS) being implemented by ourselves in Malawi.

We fully agree that being “single” is an unacceptable criteria for being considered in a position, be it as an intern or in a permanent post. We thank you for bringing this to our attention and we have removed it from the advert. Marital status does not and shall not have any impact on employment opportunity in Development Fund of Norway.

The Development Fund of Norway is still committed to promoting gender equality and ensuring that young and older women are given the much-needed platform and space to unleash their potential and exercise their skills without let or hindrance. This is clearly exemplified in the type of work that we do. For instance, you will note that all our current Programmes in Malawi explicitly state that 50% of our beneficiaries will be women and girls.

Going forward, we regret the use of the term “single” and will not use the same in our future adverts. We will also re-advertise the internship where the term “single” will not feature.
We would also like to thank you for observing this anomaly in our advert and we will be pleased to receive further feedback from you in future.
Yours sincerely,

Thor Oftedal
Country Director

As mentioned in our #OpenLetter, opportunities like these are essential to shifting the gender narrative in Malawi, and indeed around the world. EmGender continues to applaud the efforts of the Development Fund of Norway (and all our other development partners) to create spaces for our young people to develop – particularly women and girls. It is gratifying to know that the advert will be changed to accommodate all eligible candidates, regardless of their marital or parental status.



  1. […] to question the criteria and her concern led to our Open Letter, the organisation’s response and adjustment of the advert and even on-line news coverage of the issue. This was a group effort […]


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