Blantyre District Council has encouraged residents to report to relevant authorities any forms of gender-based violence (GBV) to bring perpetrators of the vice to book.
Speaking during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in the district on Thursday, the council’s vice-chairperson Akima Chipwatali said many cases remain unreported, making it difficult to win the war against the vice.
She said: “We are struggling to defeat this enemy because of the culture of silence. Some have been injured, some have lost their lives while some have committed suicide because they did not involve other people for help.
“It is time we moved from this notion of perseverance.”
The district’s gender officer Agnes Napwanga bemoaned an increase in divorce cases, a thing she said is leaving many children destitute.
She called on women to understand the law and claim what is rightfully theirs during divorce so that they should be able to take care of their children.
Traditional Authority Somba warned chiefs to be exemplary by being at the forefront in ending GBV.
He warned that he would not shield any chief that condones GBV but allow the law to take its course.
At the beginning of the event, people marched from Chadzunda Trading Centre to Namkumba Primary School to raise awareness on GBV.
Activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism started on November 15 and ends on December 10.
This year’s theme is ‘Orange Malawi, End Violence Against Women and Girls, Act Now.’