Women Doctors Association has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to declare the country a crisis following a rise in cases of rape and sexual violence.
The Doctors have made the call ahead of a joint march in all the country’s three cities; Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre slated for this coming Monday, November 16 2020.
Speaking to journalists in Lilongwe, a member of the Association Dr Bridget Malewezi said despite Malawi being a signatory to various regional and international conventions, women continue facing all forms of abuse.
“We want to acknowledge that Malawian women are protected on paper with the country having in place laws, policies, and law enforcement and social support structures.
“Malawi is even a signatory to various regional and international convention and protocols aimed at providing protection to women,” said Malewezi.
Dr Malewezi added that there is need to review penalties for rape, defilement and gender based violence.
“We demand that the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to initiate action to review penalties for rape and defilement that will ensure that the penalties are sufficiently punitive to send a message to the perpetrators.
“To mandate a register of sex offenders; to explore and create special courts to prosecute sexual crime and GBV,” said Malewezi.
The Association has since given the authorities a 90 day ultimatum to act on their demands.
The Women Doctors have also asked the Ministry of Education to be robust in the front line of educating the nation’s children on sexual health without