Absence of research data and evidence undermining GBV fight in Malawi

Lack of research data and evidence are key gaps undermining the fight against gender based violence (GBV) in Malawi, the Malawi Irish Consortium on GBV (MICGBV) has said.

The consortium, comprising six international organizations fighting GBV in Malawi, says it is for this reason that it organized a National Gender Based Violence and Gender Research Dissemination conference in order to consolidate research data and evidence for effective GBV interventions.

MICGBV held the high level conference from Monday to Tuesday in Lilongwe, attracting gender experts, activists and academicians, among many other participants. The Irish Government—perennial donor for the consortium—financed the conference.

Delegates with Minister Patricia Kaliati

MICGBV Chairperson, Jeanette Wijnants, said, by organizing the conference to gather GBV data and evidence, the consortium wants to add value to the existing efforts of various social networks in ending GBV.

She added the conference was a valuable way to bring key stakeholders together, including experts to put issues into perspective so that they are jointly addressed.

“We called out for abstracts. There is a lot of research work done by programmers, universities and independent researchers, which is not adequately disseminated.

“We believe the conference has strengthened the collaboration, networking and learning. We believe people will use the excellent research disseminated here for programming evidence based interventions against GBV,” said Wijnants, who is also the Country Director for Trocaire.

Dr. Yananda Madhlopa, a gender expert from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, concurred with Wijnants, adding the research data and evidence from the conference will help people monitor and track the impact of GBV interventions.

Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, who was the guest of honour, emphasized the need for Malawi to be conducting such conferences often, saying they act as a platform for the country to check whether or not it is making any desired progress in the fight against GBV.

Other members of MICGBV include: ActionAid Malawi, Concern Worldwide, Irish Rule of Law, Oxfam, Self Help Africa and United Purpose.

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