Victims and survivors of Violence against women and girls in the country have been encouraged to come out and break the silence and report Gender Based Violence (GBV).
First Lady, Prof. Gertrude Mutharika made the remarks Thursday when she launched Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Campaign at Kochilira Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) grounds in Mchinji.
She said those affected by gender based violence should report cases to community leaders and other service providers for remedial action.
The First Lady appealed to those that surround the victims, the community at large and service providers to break the stigma associated with being a victim of silence.
Mutharika said every time women’s rights are being violated she gets concerned and each moment there are reports of women being assaulted by their spouses and even some losing their limbs her heart bleeds.
She said the malpractices should end and that all stakeholders must join hands in curbing it at all levels.
Mutharika urged traditional leaders to discourage their subjects to stop promoting harmful practices which are making women and girls vulnerable in society.
“As an ambassador for Oxfam led EVAWG campaign, I am happy to continue champion the campaigns in support of the Government National Response to Combat Gender Based Violence in the country,” the First lady stated.
Mutharika said the president who is also the HeforShe Campaign Champion is fully committed to end the gender based violence against women and girls.
She said the launch of the campaign aims at mobilizing support for ending violence against women and girls which is taking place within the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which started from November 25 and December 10 every year.
The first lady recalled that during the campaign in Phalombe in May, she spoke against teen pregnancies which have been rising among school going girls.
Mutharika commended Ministry of Gender, Non-government Organisations like Oxfam and Girls Empowerment Network (GENET), Faith Based institutions, Youth Groups, Private Sector, Traditional Leaders and Media for taking part in the campaign.
Deputy Country Director of Oxfam, Lingalireni Mihowa disclosed that EVAWG campaigns are having positive impacts among women and girls in the communities.
She said more efforts should be put in place so that those that are being subjected to the vice are given much needed supports from all stakeholders.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children,Disability and Social Welfare, EsmieKainja commended various stakeholders for their efforts in ending GBV in the country.
She said European Union (EU), Oxfam, Norwegian and Iceland Embassies, YONCEO, GENET and Plan Malawi have been instrumental in promoting programmes which are aiming at ending GBV in the country.
During the Launch, some community leaders were honoured with certificates for their outstanding roles in their various communities in ending the GBV in Mchinji district.
This year’s16 day Activism campaign is under the theme:Ending gender base violence in the world of work and tertiary institutions.