Malawi President Joyce Banda on Friday assured all women in the country that she will continue championing women empowerment and right in the country, disclosing that she has ascended the Domestic Violence Bill in into law.
She asked the ministry involved to make sure that Malawians understand the contents of the law.
Banda therefore called for a holistic approach towards efforts and programs that are designed to uplift the status of women in the country.
Speaking during the commemoration of international women’s day at Traditional Authority Chimwala’s area in the southern lakeshore district of Mangochi on Friday, President Banda said she is saddened to learn that despite efforts made by her government and nongovernmental organizations in ending violence against women and children, the practice is still on the rise in the country.
She says she is fully aware that girl children and women are meeting a lot of gender based violence in the country like child trafficking, property grabbing and that bad cultural practices including early marriages and wife inheritance.
“These are some of the things that put women and girl child in a very difficult situation which deprive them of various rights and freedoms.
“Let me once again appeal to traditional chiefs and faith leaders and all other civic leaders to play a role in sensitizing people out there about the disadvantages of cultural and traditional practices which hinder the progression of women in our country,” she said.
President Banda said she believes that in order to address the problem of violence against women, it is essential to address poverty and gender inequality arguing that such holistic approach would help in mitigating gender based violence against women.
“Evidence have shown that the disappointing progress made towards the failure of Millennium Development Goal five to take pace could be due to the program failure to take a comprehensive approach to the uplifting of the status of women which are the central drivers of programs to reduce violence against women”.
President Banda who said has dedicated her adult life in chamipoining women and chirlderns rights said inorder to adequately reduce violence against women, it is essential to address poverty and gender inequality.
Commemorated under the theme “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end Violence against women” Banda said it is only by taking a holistic approach that the recent gains in mitigating violence against women can be maximized.
“No decision should be made without women about women. My government is committed to promote deliberate effort and policies that aim at promoting the structural barriers posed by poverty and gender inequality,” she said.
The International Women’s day which falls on March 8th was set aside by the United Nations as a way of paying tribute to all women around the world by considering critical roles women play at household, community and national levels.
Speaking earlier the Minister of Gender Anita Kalinde praised the first couple for being visionary and championing women rights in the country.
Kalinde particularly thanked the First Gentleman Richard Banda for being a model among men in Malawi and pushing also women right in Malawi.
Kalinde assured that first couple that Malawi women will soon honor President Banda and her husband with medals of appreciation.
President Joyce Banda is in Mangochi for few days. State House Press Officer Brian Banda says Banda is in the area to carry out number of official engagements.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :