Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has slamed the growing tendency by some men who are reportedly sleeping with their biological daughters and step daughters with the belief that they will cast out family spells and or get rich in Mulanje.
Reports indicate that the tendency, coupled with lack of motivation to continue with education as most girls that have completed secondary education remain unemployed, is said to be forcing most girls to drop out of school in the district and opt for early marriages.
Kaliati, who is also member of parliament in the district,described rapists, defilers and those sleeping with their daughters as weakling.
“There are a lot of women looking for men, why can’t you go to them? Why defile girls? That means you are a weakling,” she said at Milonga Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) on Sunday during the commemoration of the international day of the girl child and launch of 16 days of activism against gender based violence.
Kaliati said she felt it was wrong to bail out rapists and any sexual offender.
She said her ministry has lined up a number of activities aimed at helping young girls who dropped out of school due to various reasons. The interventions include re-admission, HeforShe initiative, and eradication of harmful cultural practices.
Age Africa country director, Getrude Kabwazi urged stakeholders to join hands in protecting the girl child, saying her organisation’s assessment discovered that “some men sleep with their daughters believing that they will cast out some spells in their families or that they will get rich. “
She stated that the girls are also threatened that “ the gods will kill them if they report to authorities and this forces them to suffer in silence.”
Senior Chief Nkanda admitted that such practices were prevalent in the district.