Senior Chief Kalumo of Ntchisi District has hailed the Spotlight Initiative for playing a big role in reducing various forms of gender-based violence (GBV) in the district.
Speaking during a visit of European Union officials at Khuwi in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalumo in the district, the chief said the project has benefitted a lot of people through women economic empowerment, among others.
He said under the project, women who are survivors of GBV have been provided with start-up capital for their small-scale businesses whose proceeds they are using to take care of their families.
Kalumo said communities in the district have now come to realise that some cultural practices such as kulowa kufa, wife inheritance are harmful and have since come up with by-laws to ensure that they are no longer being practised.
“Because of this project, we know which cultural practices are harmful and which ones are not and we have come up with by-laws to protect women and girls from any type of GBV,” he said.
Ntchisi gender officer Chikondi Macheso said under the Spotlight Initiative project, cases of GBV have decreased and are being reported more than before because of the awareness the project has achieved.
She said the project has also helped to reduce child marriages in the district and that both women and men are living in a violent-free environment.
Spotlight Initiative national coordinator Teemar Kidane said they are satisfied with what the project is achieving in the district.
She said the Spotlight Initiative is an extremely transformative and collective programme which works with everybody like the community leaders, district authorities and women and girls in promoting gender issues.
Spotlight Initiative is a Malawi Government programme funded by the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of gender based violence.