The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has challenged the Malawi Government to scale up efforts to protect women from rising rape and harassment cases.
PAP president Djamel Bouras made the remarks in Lilongwe when he met Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Titus Mvalo on Monday.
He said the victimisation of women and children needs to be checked promptly for Malawi to enhance its reputation as a law-abiding nation after successfully holding court-sanctioned fresh presidential election in June this year.
The visitor, who arrived in the country on Sunday, said protecting women and children from violence and abuse are PAP’s core values.
He said: “I am confident that Malawi will live up to its commitment to protecting human rights for all, particularly among vulnerable groups.”
Bouras’ comments come in the face of increasing sexual violence cases against children in the country.
Mvalo assured the delegation that Malawi will ensure that women and children are fully protected.
In an interview, the minister said existing laws promote women and children’s rights, but perpetrators deserve deterrent sentences.
He said: “The laws that we have are sufficient, but I think the question is on the fact that much is not being done. Women and children’s rights is a very crucial issue. Increased cases of violation of women and children’s rights is a concern even to the President.”
PAP-Malawi Chapter leader Ezekiel Ching’oma asked Mvalo’s ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with the continental body in ensuring that some of the protocols are ratified.
During his meeting Bouras said Malawi has become a global example on conducting peaceful elections without the presence of international observers, adding this symbolises that democracy is maturing on the African continent.
He said: “We mentioned the peaceful transition in Malawi because as members of PAP, our goal is to have stability and peaceful transition in all African countries. For us, Malawi is a very important example to follow because one of our goals is to have peaceful transition of power in Africa. “
During the morning, Bouras met the Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba and discussed issues that will lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
The entourage is on a four-day visit to the country to meet a number of officials, including President Lazarus Chakwera, on matters concerning the African continent and PAP member States. Meetings will continue up to Thursday.