Purple Innovation project officer Rhoda Ng’ambi has urged women in Mzimba District to report gender-based violence (GBV).
Her call follows reports that many GBV victims suffer in silence in the district because of cultural beliefs that say women should endure in marriage.
But in an interview on Monday, Ng’ambi condemned the culture of silence, saying it was violating women’s rights.
She said: “Many women do not report marital abuses because all their lives they have been taught that banja ndikupilira [marriage is about perseverance].
“So, most of them are afraid to report because they do not want their abusive husbands to be arrested and then end up struggling to survive since men are considered bread winners.”
Ng’ambi said others suffer in silence because they do not know that they are being abused.
“That is why we are conducting trainings and sensitising communities through radio programmes to different forms of GBV,” she said.
A community member Florence Mwagomba admitted that some women do not report GBV because they are afraid of losing their husbands.
She said: “Some women endure hardship in marriage because their parents cannot afford to return the bride price in case of a marriage breakup.
“We are taught that whatever happens in marriage is a private matter and no one has to hear it.”