Women are a major force in the Malawi's socio-economic activities. Since its transition to democracy in 1994 from Hastings Kumuzu Banda's rule, Malawi has made significant progress in developing laws and programs that promote protection and respect for women’s and girls’ human rights. Despite these efforts there remain significant gender disparities in educational opportunities. Violence against women appears widespread, and Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Malawi acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on 12th March 1987 and ranks 101 out of 144 countries in the 2017 Global Gender Gap Index (GGI). In regards to disarmament, Malawi voted for the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, signed on the 9th of January, 2014, but has not yet ratified. In 2017, $47.2 million was spent by Malawi on its military. Currently, civil society organisations are actively involved in strengthening women's right to inherit property. Also there are some many initiatives designed to give women a voice in policymaking by providing high-quality public opinion data to policy advocates, civil society organisations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.