Ministry of Gender, Child Development and Community Development has received 940 bicycles and 60 motorcycles from the United Nation’s (UN) Spotlight Initiative for use by gender-based violence (GBV) service providers in communities.
The 1 000 items, valued at $186 000 (about K140 million), were presented to the ministries of Gender and Local Government and Rural Development which work together in implementing the Spotlight Initiative in six districts nationwide.
Speaking on Wednesday when she presented the items on behalf of the UN community, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative Won Young Hong said the bicycles are expected to ease mobility challenges for service providers in their efforts to reach out to vulnerable groups in hard-to-reach areas.
She said: “The Spotlight Initiative procured 60 motorcycles and 940 bicycles for the use of stakeholders who provide GBV-related services at the community level.
“The target is to reach 2 802 084 young women, adolescent girls, vulnerable men and boys as direct beneficiaries, and 8 280 681 indirect beneficiaries.”
Young also highlighted that it is everyone’s duty to ensure that Malawi is free of violence and is committed to promoting gender equality and ending GBV and other harmful practices.
On her part, Minister of Gender, Child Development and Community Development, Mary Navicha said the motorcycles and bicycles will help to improve the response and delivery of sexual and reproductive health services, justice, prosecution and psychosocial support.
She thanked the UN community and the European Union, partners in funding the Spotlight Initiative, for their support.
The Spotlight Initiative is being implemented in Nsanje, Mzimba, Dowa, Ntchisi, Machinga and Nkhata Bay to eliminate GBV and harmful practices by addressing their structural roots and linkages and sexual reproductive health and rights.
It also seeks to improve access to GBV services and prosecution of GBV cases by providing safe spaces for victims, among other things. n