By Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, November 5, Mana: Government has challenged Traditional leaders to be instrumental to child marriages in their areas in order to promote girl child education.
Minister of Gender, Socio Welfare and Community Development, Patricia Kaliati made the challenge Thursday at Mfera Primary school in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kalolo in Lilongwe during a Community Event in Profiling Women Leadership as part of 50:50 Elect her and Retain Her Campaign.
She said traditional leaders a custodian of culture they need to be proactive to encourage the girl child to remain in school rather than being forced into marriages at tender age.
Kaliati said issues of defilement and rape among communities are rampant and the only set back was that women choose not to report the cases to authorities.
“We need to break this silence among women and communities. Any form of violence against women of girls within the communities need to be reported and this will help to reduce the cases in the country,” the Minister said.
She designated some leaders like TAs Kalolo, Chadza Mbwatalika Tsabango and Senior group Nkuta as Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) ambassadors for their areas.
“We want them to be giving us progress report on how many child marriages have been ended in their areas, case of defilement and rape among other roles they should be playing as ambassadors,” Kaliati pointed out.
She said there was need to continue supporting women MPs to should that those that are serving retain their seats while there was need to increase the current number in parliament by electing new one.
Kaliati said with support from Oxfam Malawi other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), they need to popularize and mobilize more resources for women to be elected as MPs.
She thanked Oxfam for donating motorbikes and bicycles to be used in the campaign saying the gesture has helped to ease the mobility challenges duty bearers were facing.
Country Director for Oxfam Malawi, Lingalireni Mihowa said her organization was collaboration women MPs in Lilongwe in order to promote campaign on ending child marriages, violence against women and promotion of girl child education.
She said since the campaign was launch in 2019 it has shown that more women are capable in doing things and are more willing to serve their communities.