Network for Youth Development has urged traditional leaders in Lilongwe to abolish cultural practices that violate women’s rights.
The organisation’s project officer Sekanawo Mwatibu made the call on Tuesday at Likuni Girls Primary School in Lilongwe when she closed a two-day training on women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues.
She said: “We want the leaders to promote women’s rights by abolishing cultural practices that fuel gender-based violence [GBV] in their areas.
“We have also equipped them with knowledge on women’s rights and SRH issues that will enable them to protect women.”
Mwatibu acknowledged that traditional leaders have been instrumental in ending child marriages in their areas; hence, the need to train them in women’s rights.
On his part, group village head Kuthindi said they learned that women can play a role in the development of their areas.
“We will promote women’s rights and encourage them to participate in development,” he said.
A human rights champion from Traditional Authority Malili Kampaso Khuze said the SRH training was crucial to women and girls as it equipped them with knowledge on how to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
“That is why since 2017, the area has not reported cases of teen pregnancies,” she said.
The organisation is implementing Her Future Her Choice Project funded by Global Affairs Canada through Oxfam in Malawi in traditional authorities Malili and Chimutu in the district.