Malawi Government has dedicated this year’s International Women’s Day scheduled on March 5, in Phalombe to women and children who are victims of floods in the 15 districts of the country.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patria Kaliati, disclosed this in Lilongwe on Monday at a press briefing on the preparations of the event.
Kaliati also took time in appealing to Malawians to take the responsibility of promoting and protecting women’s and children’s rights especially those affected by the floods in the 15 districts and other parts of the country.
“For Malawi the situation at hand takes cognisant of the women and children affected by the floods in the camps where they are sheltered. Let us unite to fight all forms of violence against women and children who have been displaced by the floods,” she said.
The minister also encouraged security officers working at the camps to make sure that all the violence cases brought to their attention are thoroughly dealt with and that perpetrators are brought to book.
The minister said her office has received reports of sexual abuse at the camps and revealed some culprits have already been arrested.
“We received reports of defilement, early marriages and abuse relief items in Zomba, Chikwawa and Nsanje and some people have already been arrested.
“Currently there are 661, 000 women and girls who have been affected by the floods and are in need of resources like food and clothes,” explained Kaliati.
The International Women’s Day was set aside on March 8, 1975 by the United Nations to create awareness on the tremendous contributions women make to the societies and the need to respect women rights in all the spheres of life.
In Malawi, the day will be observed under a theme, ‘Make it happen’, and will be preceded by prayers slated for March 6 in Balaka.