Malawi Minister of Gender, Child and Community Development, Rene Kachere has told women who are forced to sleep with relatives of their deceased husbands in traditional cleansing ceremonies where the men performing the cleansing acts are known as Fisi (hyenas) to resist the rituals and if need be use physical violence to hurt the ‘hyenas’.
Kachere was speaking during the launch of activities to mark the commemoration of 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence at Mponela 2 Primary school in Dowa district on Sunday.
“Hit them (those hyenas) hard in their private parts and I can assure you it hurts,” Kachere advised.
She said if the women are then accused of violence they must say, in their defence, “inetu ndimamenya fisi (It is a hyena that I was hitting)”.
The commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is an annual worldwide campaign which starts on November 25 day on November 25, ending on December 10 which is the World Human Rights Day.
This year’s commemoration is being held under the theme “From peace in homes to peace in the world”.
The launch in Mponela was characterized with various performances including traditional dances, drama, poetry recitals, live band performance, testimonies from victims of domestic violence and speeches by various dignitaries among them Ministry of Gender officials, traditional leaders, District Commissioner for Dowa district, a representative of the UNFPA and the Chair for NGO Gender Coordinating Network, Emma Kaliya.