The Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has said more collaboration of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can help accelerate efforts against gender based violence (GBV) and result in much anticipated victory in fighting the vice.
Kaliati said the combined financial and human resources of MDAs and NGOs can help people, especially in rural areas, easily access all they require in order to refrain from GBV and best deal with perpetrators and victims of the vice.
She made the remarks on Tuesday in Lilongwe when she closed a half-day media orientation workshop on the forthcoming 16 days of activism against GBV for the year 2021.
The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, with financial support from World Vision Malawi.
The workshop was aimed at increasing the knowledge of journalists on 16 days of activism against GBV to enable them help raise awareness and build the momentum ahead of this year’s campaign, which will be launched on 25 November in Nkhata Bay and marks the 30th anniversary of the widely acclaimed global campaign.
Kaliati’s remarks come amid concerns that GBV cases remain high in Malawi despite the 16 days of activism against GBV campaigns having been conducted over the past 30 years.
Apparently, the National Statistical Office reported four years ago that one in three Malawian women and girls between the age of 15 and 49 experiences physical or sexual violence.
Kaliati said the current situation calls for more work on the ground, which, she noted, calls for more collaboration of MDAs, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the desired results in the fight against GBV.
“There are so many government and NGO employees working at district and Traditional Authority levels. These must come together with other stakeholders, put their resources together and go everywhere to raise awareness and implement many other interventions that can help end GBV.
“It should not just end at commemorating the 16 days of activism against GBV. Go flat out. People must know and respect human rights. We need more women empowerment programs,” Kaliati said.
But commentators have commended the 16 days of activism against GBV campaigns conducted over the years, saying they have helped raise enough awareness and been able to “break” what they describe as “a culture of silence on reporting GBV”.
In her remarks, Chairperson for NGO-Gender Coordination Network, Barbra Banda,
concurred with Kaliati, adding that the media is critical to the MDAs, NGOs and other stakeholders collaboration.
She urged the media to truthfully and objectively report on the efforts and interventions of various collaborating stakeholders, saying “this will help create understanding and influence behaviour change towards GBV”.
Malawi will commemorate this year’s 16 days of activism against GBV under a localized theme: “Orange Malawi; End violence Against Women and Girls, Act Now.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :