Communities in Dowa District implementing the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) have vowed to continue in dealing with and eradicating forms of gender based violence being experienced.
Speaking during a tour of some of the Gewe projects being implemented, over the weekend chairperson of Chilima Community Victim Support Unit, Seba Sinthani said since Gewe inception in 2013, the number of gender based violence has been decreasing, despite registering a sharp increase in the first years.
“We started to campaign and creating awareness on gender based violence in 2011, and the first two years the number seemed to increase, but we did not give up, but continued. in 2013, the numbers stared decreasing and up to now the numbers have started to decrease,” he said.
According to a victim support register, the number of cases of gender based violence in 2011 was eight and the subsequent year, the number rose to 14 and started to decline to 8 in 2013.
Further the report shows that members of the community referred about two cases to police in 2011, one case in the subsequent year. And from 2013 to 2015 no case was referred and one case has been referred to police for further help.
Sinthani said, the cases which are referred to police are only those which got complicated and the community failed they needed to refer the case to police.
“Gewe project has been on great help to us all. Husbands were the biggest culprits of gender based violence. The common ones wife battling and husbands abandoning their families soon after harvests,” he said.
He further said after the Gewe awareness, families became aware what gender based violence is and how it can be avoided.
“There are some families which were still hiding, but due to the intensive awareness we have created, its not just dependent of the family to report but every person has become a friends watchdog such such when such cases are coming up, we recieve tip and we follow it up,” he added
Gewe is a three year project being implemented by the ministry of gender, in conjunction with UNFPA with funding from the European Union (EU).