United Nations (UN) Women resident representative Clara Anyangwe has called on all Malawians to join hands in the fight against various forms of gender-based violence (GBV), including rape and defilement.
Speaking at Makawa Primary School ground, Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi yesterday during the launch of 16 Days against GBV, she said Malawi can win the battle against GBV if it invests in collective efforts.
Said Anyangwe: “Yes we must admit that issues of rape and defilement, among other GBV-related cases, are on the increase in the country. But looking at the efforts the country has embarked on recently, there is hope that Malawi will deal with these issues.
“But to decisively deal with these menaces, the country needs to employ collective efforts from all Malawians beginning with the victims, chiefs, religious leaders and politicians, among other stakeholders.”
She also said the launch should challenge people to renew their efforts and embark on a fierce fight against GBV to preserve the gains the country has made.
In her remarks, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati said she attended the event to declare a total war against GBV.
“This launch offers an opportunity to you all, especially men, who are chief perpetrators of these menaces, to reflect and stop your bizarre behaviours,” she said.
Kaliati, who asked Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Aisha Mambo Adams to officially launch the ceremony, urged men to respect women and girls to safeguard their dignity and enable them to achieve their goals.
On her part, Adams hailed government for the commitment it is making to fight GBV and pledged to continue implementing interventions aimed at rooting out the malpractice.
The launch, held under the theme End Gender-Based Violence: Prevent, Report, Respond, Fund, was attended by representatives of foreign and local NGOs, chiefs and religious leaders, among others.