First Lady Professor Getrude Mutharika has condemned acts of violence and abuses that women, girls and children in the country face.
The First Lady was speaking Thursday during one of the events of a campaign branded Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) held at Ndungunya Primary School in Phalombe district.
Mutharika said it was sad that most girls and women are abused by people who were supposed to be protecting them such as their husbands and stepfathers, a thing she described as inhuman.
Mutharika said in 2017 she accepted to become the EVAWG campaign’s ambassador because she realizes how gender based violence hinders national development by creating a social distance between males and females.
“When women and girls are subjected to gender based violence of various forms they are affected both physically and emotionally as such they are unlikely to take part in developmental activities, thereby reducing the population of Malawians that could take part in development,” Mutharika said.
She also noted that both secondary school and primary school girls in the district were dropping out of school due to early pregnancies, adding that this was sad.
The Malawi Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare in conjunction with Oxfam on November 28 2017 launched the campaign which is designed to reduce levels of violence against women, girls and children that are evidently on the rise in the country.
Among other things this campaign is pushing for the revision of some gender sensitive laws in Malawi to ensure that girls and women are fully protected from gender based violence.
Commenting on the EVAWG campaign Interim Country Director for Oxfam in Malawi Lingalireni Mihowa praised the successes that the campaign has registered since its inception.
Mihowa said that statistics available in her organization’s data base indicate that at least one million Malawians have been reached with EVAWG messages that are expected to trigger mindset change on issues of gender based violence.
Traditional Authority Jenala in whose district the campaign event took place said while women and children were the ones in the spotlight on the issues of Gender Based Violence, men in the district were also being subjected to serious abuses that needed interventions.
“Some women beat their husbands, but since the Malawian tradition makes us believe that men do not cry they end up not reporting the abuses that they are going through. This is bad and if it is a way of balancing the equation it is not a good one,” said Jenala