As the world gears to observe 16 Days of Gender Activism, the Minister of Gender Community Development and Social Welfare Jean Sendeza has challenged men and boys to take part in the fight against gender-based violence in the country.
Sendeza made the call during a press conference on Thursday in Lilongwe ahead of commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign that men and boys should acknowledge their roles as both perpetrators and survivors.
“It is a call on partners, stakeholders and all of us to to prevent gender based violence and resist any rollback on women’s rights by being allies in preventing violence, advocating for budget allocations to address the vice as well as supporting women’s rights organizations in combating violence,” she said.
Sendeza urged Malawians to join the efforts in campaigning against gender based violence by participating in activities, sharing information with family, friends, raising awareness, reporting any firm of violence to the authorities saying preventing gender based violence is a collective responsibility.
UN Women Country Representative, Letty Chiwara said Malawi has several gaps in the fight against gender based violence like investment which have been limited in terms of funding to address the challenges that women and girls face once they are violated.
“Malawi has been very good in formulating policies with some reviewed over the years but implementation is lacking because of resources,” she said.
Chiwara added that fragmented approaches to addressing the issues of violence against women as they don’t come and work together, each and every one are doing their way.
She therefore called upon all to unite and work together to end violence against women and girls.
The climax of the campaign will be held in Mzimba district
However, the campaign under the theme: Unite! Invest to end Gender Based Violence in Malawi,” runs from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th December, Human Rights Day.
On this day, 2023 Malawi will jointly launch the 2023 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign and In-Country Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Network and celebrate the successes of the Spotlight Initiative Programme in Malawi.
According to Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare 16 Days of Activism period includes significant days such as World AIDS Day on 1st December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December, and the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre on 6th December.
The events highlight the positive contributions and challenges faced by persons with disabilities. Additionally, 9th December is International Anti-Corruption Day, while on 10th December marks Human Rights Day.