Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Titus Mvalo on Tuesday presented Malawi’s human rights report to the United Nations’ 36 session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) taking place in Geneva, saying although same-sex marriages are illegal in Malawi, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) is conducting a study on whether it could be legalised.
Mvalo said the study will move the country on whether to legalise same-sex marriages or not.
Human rights activists have been pushing for marriage equality and they want to drive a campaign that Malawians speak up in favour of same-sex marriage.
Malawi criminalizes same-sex conduct, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people often face violence, threats and discrimination.
Nearly all Malawians think LGBT+ human rights should be protected, yet the same number could not accept a gay or lesbian family member, according to a first-of-its kind first country-wide survey of attitudes to sexual and gender nonconformity in Malawi, a southernAfrican country of nearly 19 million people.
The survey findings by the South Africa-based LGBT+ rights group The Other Foundation was released last year.
Alan Msosa, lead researcher and an academic with the University of Bergen in Norway, said “80% believe that homosexual sex is wrong, but one in three believe God loves people in same-sex relationships.”
In his report to UN, Justice Minister Mvalo said the country managed to enact laws regarding marriage, enacted the Access to Information Law and Marriage Relations and Divorce Act.
On Gender Based Violence, Mvalo said government is putting in place necessary measures to reduce the vice and has partnered Non-Governmental Organisations in various campaigns aimed at sensitising Malawians on the evils of Gender Based Violence.
The minister promised justice on Nsundwe women who were allegedly raped by the police during the political revolution which kicked out the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from power.
He said the Tonse alliance led government is committed to ensuring that justice prevails in the Nsundwe women abuse case.
Mvalo said although the 2019 tripartite election was marred by irregularities, the Malawi Defence Force stood with Malawians.
“We have learnt that democracy can be hijacked,” he said.
Malawi was recently elected as member of UN Human Rights Commission.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :