The NGO-Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) has called on stakeholders in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) to utilise the media in exposing cases and sensitising people to the evils of GBV.
The network, which is establishing women radio action groups comprising women forums that are involved in the fight against GBV, says the radio action groups are key to ending the vice.
Speaking on behalf of NGO-GCN on Friday when the network established women radio action groups in Ntchisi, Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) project officer Enock Chinkhuntha urged the stakeholders to utilise the media to boost the fight against GBV.
He said the radio action groups will amplify women’s voices in the fight against GBV and help duty-bearers to know about GBV cases and take action.
Said Chinkhuntha: “We want their voices to be amplified. We believe that democracy works where citizens have their voice amplified and heard before the duty-bearers.
“So, the formation of the radio action groups is one such initiative that can help empower women to have their voices heard so that their issues can be brought to the attention of duty-bearers at local, district and national levels. So, we would want women to come together, reflect on issues that affect them and girls in view of GBV.”
On her part, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalumo’s Women Movement chairperson Alice Kachipala said some GBV suspects are shielded, but with the radio action groups approach, they will be able to expose malpractices as more people will also understand the need to fight GBV in their communities.
She said: “Mostly, we are fighting to end rape and defilement cases which are rampant. We are also fighting early marriages. We are making sure that girls back to school.”
Senior group village head Mankhambira commended that NGO-GCN for establishing the radio action groups, saying traditional leaders want to see an end to GBV.
In Ntchisi, the radio action groups have been established in T/As Nthondo, Chikho, Chilooko and Kalumo, areas where NGO-GCN is implementing a year-long project called Women Movements Amplify under the United Nation’s Spotlight Initiative with funding from the European Union.
Other beneficiary districts are Nsanje, Machinga, Dowa, Nkhata Bay and Mzimba.