Karonga District Council chairperson Belliam Msukwa has bemoaned the rise in gender-based violence (GBV) cases in the district.
He expressed the sentiments on Monday during the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence at Kangindwa Primary School in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwakaboko.
In his speech, Msukwa asked for collaboration to fight the vice.
He said: “It is sad to see many women and girls continue to be victims of GBV.
“For instance, in T/A Mwakaboko, young girls are being forced into early marriages.”
Msukwa urged the police and courts to expedite GBV cases to bring justice to perpetrators.
He also urged Malawi Police Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services to intensify security at the border post and patrol uncharted routes to prevent child trafficking.
Karonga district principal gender officer Martha Kalumbi assured the people that her office is working with other stakeholders to fight GBV in the district.
She asked traditional leaders to take a leading role in sensitising their subjects to the dangers of the vice.
“We are trying our best to protect girls and women, but some cultural practices are hindering us to win the fight against GBV,” said Kalumbi.
On his part, Mwakaboko Area Development Committee chairperson Edward Chitete said they are working with traditional leaders to fight the vice.
“We will formulate by-laws that will protect girls and women from GBV,” he said.
Property grabbing, child trafficking, child neglect and child marriages are common cases.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence were launched by First Lady Monica Chakwera in Nkhata Bay last Thursday.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of 16 Days of activism which runs from 25 November to 10 December.
This year’s localised theme is Orange Malawi: End Violence Against Women and Girls, Act Now.