Police Victim Support Units registered a 5.6 percent decline in gender-based violence (GBV) in the first half of the year 2021.
Statistics indicate that the units registered 10, 675 from 11, 311 in the same period last year, which the police have admitted to be minimal.
VSU desk officer Gift Likoswe said this on Thursday in Dowa during a media orientation workshop on the forthcoming 16 days of activism against GBV for the year 2021.
The workshop was jointly organized by Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare and NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) in order to increase the knowledge of media practitioners in helping raise awareness ahead of the 16 days of activism against GBV campaign.
In his presentation, Likoswe said physical and sexual violence recorded the highest numbers of the GBV cases, registering 3, 216 and 1, 669, respectively.
The presentation further states that out of the 1669 sexual violence cases recorded, defilement cases were high in number at 977, representing 58.53% of the sexual violence cases.
Commenting on the development, Principal gender and development officer in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Joseph Kalelo, commended the slight decrease of the GBV cases though he said “the cases needed to be reduced further”.
Nevertheless, Kalelo said the reduction still indicate that the efforts the government and other stakeholders are doing, are bearing fruits.
“The interventions are making strides because we have been strategic and targeting duty bearers such as traditional and religious leaders and decision makers. We know that when we target these people, there is a multiplier effect. These are custodians,” said Kalelo, who is also the national coordinator for GBV programs in Malawi.
He added that the interventions also include awareness on gender policies and legal frameworks and ensuring that these documents become progressive and responsive.
According to Likoswe’s presentation, harmful cultural practices and beliefs remain the greatest contributing factors in the rise of sexual violence.
GBV permanent committee chairperson of the NGO-GCN, Linda Jimu, said Malawi would maintain the reduction of GBV cases if stakeholders continue with awareness and doing right the many other interventions.
“We have a lot of work to do to uproot these deep-rooted harmful cultural practices and beliefs that continue to perpetrate GBV in the country,” she said.
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.
This year’s commemoration marks the 30th anniversary of the widely acclaimed global campaign.
The national launch will take place on 25 November in the lakeshore District of Nkhata Bay.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :