Communities in Mzimba district have expressed ignorance on child and gender-related laws, a critical component in the Spotlight Initiative Programme that seeks to end gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.
The gap was revealed recently during a series of Spotlight Initiative awareness meetings on child and gender-related laws conducted by the Law Commission in the district.
In his remarks, group village head ChikapuMoyo called for concerted efforts in ending all forms of violence against women and girls.
“The meetings will help women and girls know the laws that protect them from GBV,” he said.
Engalaweni Primary School mother group member Ella Jere said child and gender-related laws are vital in the fight against GBV, adding that: “Some of us know that Malawi enacted gender-related laws, but most women, girls and men do not know that we have such legal instruments.”
Law Commission civic education officer and facilitator OramaMaliro said the main focus of the meetings was to impart knowledge to communities on the forms of violence against children, women and girls.
The Commission conducted the meetings with funding from United Nations Children’s Fund [Unicef] under the Spotlight Initiative Programme. Mzimba district social welfare office indicates that cases of defilement stand at around 51 percent.