The Women Judges Association of Malawi (WOJAM), Saturday, commemorated 16 days of Gender Based Activism with refugees and asylum seekers at the Dzaleka camp in Dowa.
Speaking at the function, WOJAM’s Programs Coordinator, Justice Zione Ntaba, called on all the communities in the country not to entertain GBV cases in their respective areas.
She urged the people to work together in reporting such cases to the relevant authorities including the police and courts so that the offenders are punished accordingly to end the malpractices.
Ntaba, who is High Court judge in Zomba, lamented that most women and girls fail to report GBV cases thinking that justice would not be on their side because they are poor.
She appealed to women to take away this mentality and start reporting the cases for justice to prevail.
She called upon fellow judges in the country not to take sides in GBV cases and that stiffer punishment is given to those found guilty to deter other would be offenders.
In her remarks, the leader of the women in the camp, Cecilia Pango, said most women refugees and girls do not report GBV to the authorities for various reasons, one of them being afraid of the attackers from within the camp as they originated from different countries.
Pango, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said women and girls are regarded as inferiors and have nothing to say to the communities in the camp hence suffering GBV cases in silence with others losing lives.
She called for serious interventions by government and NGOs in combating GBV cases so that those found violating the rights of women and girls be brought to book.
Dowa is one of the districts in Malawi where GBV cases are on the increase in women and girls due to among others, intermarriages between the Chewa’s and Ngoni’s.
The 16 days of Gender Based Violence Activism was launched on Friday, December 1, 2017 in Blantyre with the theme “Leave no one behind”.