By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
Madame Monica Chakwera, the First Lady of the Republic of Malawi has lamented against sexual exploitation in the country saying time has come to speak against sexual abuse, and hold perpetrators accountable.
Speaking on Thursday, December 2,2021 when she officially opened When The Saint (WTS) at Mponela in Dowa, Madam Chakwera told the gathering that young girls are going through traumatic experiences due to the vice, which she said must come to an end.
“There is only one solution to the challenge we face i.e. sexual exploitation of children must come to an end. The rape culture in Malawi must come to an end. Why on earth should girls as young as 2 year olds go through such painful experiences just because they were born girls? It is for all of us to rise, hold hands together to create a new culture in Malawi that does not leave any room for sexual abuse. How glorious it will be, to one day live in a community where children are safe and safe house are not needed anymore”, lamented the First Lady in her speech.
Further, Madam Chakwera urged community leaders to be pillars of hope for girls in their villages by fighting for the safety of the girls whenever sexual abuse happens, and work together with the police and the justice system to ensure girls receive fair justice, and that offenders are taken to book according to law.
She then commended WTS for not focusing on girls only, but also the men so that both the oppressed and oppressor are set free from the sexual exploitation, while on the other hand thanking Senior Chief Dzoole and Emma Kaliya for the roles they have played in the project.
In her remarks, Minister responsible for Gender, Community Development, and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati said; it is pleasing that the facility is first of its kind in Malawi and has come at the time the country is observing 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, adding that it will be essential in providing psychosocial support and counselling to survivors of various gender based violence and adverse effects of sexual abuse.
She further commended the First Lady for her commitment in ending Gender Based Violence in Malawi.
When The Saints (WTS) is a Drop Center for girls who have gone through sexual exploitation, and it has been built at Mponela in Dowa with the assistance from David Peterka and support from the Malawi Human Rights Resource (MHRR).