UN challenges journalists to fight violence against women

The United Nations (UN) says journalists in Malawi have a very important role in eliminating harmful cultural practices and violence against women and girls.

The remarks were made in Lilongwe during a two-day Spotlight Initiative media training.

UN Resident Representative Maria Jose Torres said journalists are important allies in a society on issues that affect women and girls.

“Journalists are essential to create opinions to open the space for debate in society because you are the ones who know how to pose the questions to invite people to the table that can really help to bring the conversation forward,” she said.

Torres disclosed that Malawi is among 13 countries globally and eight countries in Africa selected through a competitive process to receive part of the global grant of €500 million from the European Union (EU) to implement the Spotlight Initiative.

She said the initiative is aimed at eliminating harmful cultural practices and all forms of violence against women and girls including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Newly elected Spotlight Initiative Media Network chairperson Alex Banda, expressed satisfaction over the knowledge invested in the journalists.

Banda said the journalists are ready to report on issues that affect women and children in their respective communities from an informed angle.

“This Network is crucial as journalists in this project are the front liners in the fight against violence against women and girls and we intend to bring to the masses through our community radio stations, information how ill gender-based violence is,” he said.

Spotlight Initiative was launched in September 2017 to foster local, regional, and global-level action to address and eliminate violence against women and girls.

In Malawi the initiative will be implemented in Nkhata Bay, Mzimba, Ntchisi, Dowa, Machinga and Nsanje districts in phases.

The other seven African countries are Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

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