Vendors in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital, Lilongwe, pounced on women dressed in trousers or miniskirts with up to six being confirmed to have been attacked.
During a press conference on Tuesday night, Dorothy Ngoma of the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives and Lucky Mbewe of the Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education said women should boycott buying goods from vendors for the next two weeks to protest against the stripping of their (womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) dignity.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nurses wear trousers because it is cold at night. We treated many of vendors when they were shot during [the July 20 2011 nationwide anti-government] demonstrations, should we stop assisting them?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“From today, women should not buy from male vendors until there is an apology,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Ngoma who urged President Bingu wa Mutharika to rise up to the occasion and protect the women.
Martha Kwataine of the Malawi Health Equity Network said the vendors should take their problems to the one who created them, saying a boycott of their products would teach the vendors to respect women as they are the majority of buyers of products.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The President should learn that politics of appeasement does not work. He has created this problem for the Police, city council and women by hosting these [vendors] to beer parties and allowing them to trade anywhere. He should come and address these problems,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Kwataine.
Two weeks ago vendors in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital, Lilongwe, were engaged in running battles with police and the Lilongwe City Council rangers over trading spaces along Malangalanga Road. Scores were arrested in the fracas police failed to contain and the Malawi Defence Force had to move in.