Malawi has launched this year’s 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence (GBV) with a call from both government and human rights advocates urging Malawians to join hands in ending the vice.
The launch ceremony was held on Wednesday, November 26, at Makawa Primary School ground in Mangochi district.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, who graced the event, expressed worry over the alarming increase of cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country and declared a new era in the fight against the vice.
Kaliati said: “We have been advocating the issues of Gender Based Violence for a long period of time, including imposing different registrations but up to now the cases are still on rise a development which is pathetic.
“That’s why we are saying that we need to empower gender monitoring, gender budget and unite as government and stakeholders so that we can have a different approach to fight the vice.”
In her remarks, chairperson for NGO-GCN, Barbara Banda, concurred with the minister saying despite efforts by different stakeholders to addressing GBV, but it is disappointing that the cases are still on rise, a challenge which needs concerted effort.
“Issues of GBV have reached unprecedented level of occurrence in our country and as a nation we need to take a moment and ask ourselves why this happening and what is should we need to do,” said Banda.
She further expressed hope that at the end of 16 days period Malawians will be more aware of the pain being caused to women and girls and the altitude will change.
UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Clara Anyangwe, said in Malawi his organization is looking for “zero tolerance on rape, defilement, child marriages and teen pregnancies by putting in place strong accountability mechanism to ensure that laws concerning GBV are implemented”.
Also speaking during the event, commissioner for Eastern Region police, Arlene Baluwa, who represented the Inspector General, revealed that from January to October 2020, police received 1281 defilement cases comparing with 1092 cases in 2019 during the same period.
She further said rape cases registered in 2020 have reached 121 while in the same period in 2019 the number was 120.This year’s period is being commemorated under the theme: “Unite to End Gender Based Violence: Prevent, Report, Respond and Fund”.