Malawi President Joyce Banda on Monday asked women in the country to stand together and support each other to advance issues relating to women.
President Banda was speaking in Lilongwe at the official closing ceremony of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
She said women need to fight issues that affect them rather than fighting each other.
“I urge all women in Malawi to stand united, support and defend each other, it is sad to note that it is women at most times who are in the forefront of fighting fellow women,” said Banda, adding that it will be hard to achieve the 50/50 campaign as most women shy away from political offices in fear of being castigated and called names.
President Banda said as a champion of women and minority rights, the day has provided a platform for people in the country to reflect on issues of gender based violence.
“As President of the Republic, I feel more obliged to render my voice to the campaign to end gender based violence.
“Gender Based violence undermines the safety, dignity, health and human rights of the hundreds of individuals who experience it, and it has a cost to our public health system, our economic well-being and the security of our nation. Therefore, for me as a leader, the end to gender based violence is paramount both from a good governance point of view and also from a socio-economic perspective,” she said.
The President said as a leader she hopes for a future where violence against women and girls is no longer tolerated by men or women; where it is no longer a common occurrence in schools, households, and communities
Commenting on this year’s theme which is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: End Gender Based Violence Against Women”. Banda said theme places significant responsibilities on parents in ensuring the attainment of peace in the homes.
“This theme reminds every one of us that there can never be peace in the world unless we achieve peace at the individual, family, village, community, district and national levels,” she said
President took part in a solidarity march from City Centre Round About to Bingu International Conference Centre which she described as a sign mutual commitment in the fight to end gender based violence.
At the function, Lizzie Mhone a victim of Gender Based Violence from Nkhata-Bay narrated her ordeal.
Mhone explained that her husband used to abuse her and defile her daughter. She explained that she tried to get help from relatives but she was not helped as she was told she has to endure as that was part of marriage.
As of now, Mhone says her children are traumatized for life and she struggles to make ends meet, meanwhile, President Joyce Banda has assure the woman that she will support her.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :