Motorists cruising past Crossroads Roundabout in Lilongwe on Thursday afternoon had no choice, but sympathize with the “battered and disfigured” Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, and Plan International Malawi Country Director, Phoebe Kasoga, in a typical case of gender based violence (GBV).
With their cheeks drenched in clotted blood, Kaliati and Kasoga demonstrated to the motorists, how violence has disfigured “our otherwise very beautiful women.”
For about 30 minutes, the minister and the Country Director for Plan International Malawi, who were accompanied by equally “battered and disfigured men and women” stood around the roundabout with placards in hand to send the message to the world on the need to end the vice.
“Mkazi wako, sikapolo koma mnzako!” read the placard, which Kaliati hoisted.
On the other hand, Kasoga’s placard read, “We don’t need to wait for another 30 years: End Violence Now!”
Speaking in an interview afterwards, Kaliati they wanted to give motorists an opportunity to get the message while in the comfort of their vehicles.
She said the government is aware that not all motorists have time to attend public awareness meetings; hence, there was a need for such a strategy to ensure that they, too, can get the message.
“Some motorists don’t have time to listen to the radio or read a newspaper. So, through this demonstration, we have helped them appreciate what GBV is all about and the need to collaborate to end the vice,” said Kaliati.
On her part, Kasoga said her organization is collaborating with the Malawi Government and other stakeholders in raising awareness on GBV in all the corners of the country.