By Tione Andsen
Government has said women empowerment remains the only tool to ending Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Dr Patricia Kaliati said this Wednesday when she addressed Commission on the Women (CSW) under the themes: Violence against Women and Girls and Ending Child Marriage, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights for young people in Southern Africa and Unpaid care and Domestic Work hosted by Oxfam at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.
She said during a virtual meeting from USA that once a girl child receives proper education in the country most of the cases of GBV would come to an end.
“Malawi has development a number of policies and acts which are aimed at protecting women’s and girl’s rights so that they should not fall victim of GBV,” Kaliati added.
The Minister pointed out that Ministry of Education introduced re-admission policy to enable girl child that had given birth to retain to continue with their education.
She said this was one way of encouraging girl child to view that education as the only tool they could use in order to sustain their livelihood.
Kaliati said southern African region stand to benefit more if more girls are provided with quality education which would enable them participate in meaningfully development of their countries.
Country Director for Oxfam Malawi, Lingalireni Mihowa called on governments and development partners in the region to increase on investments on women’s rights organizations so that they have sustained action on tapping in ending violence against women and girls.
She said would greatly assist in transforming socio norms and building movements.
Mihowa said essential services which deal with issue of ending violence against women to be provide with adequate funding.
“Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum is looking at ways of championing SADC Gender Based Violence model laws. We will like to urge governments in southern Africa to provide financial resources in order to domesticate the model laws,” she added.
Inkosi ya Makhosi Paramount Chief Gomani V said there need for standardization in the formulation of by-laws in ending violence against women and girls.
He said this would help to have a common understanding among all tribes in the country because some have used traditional norms to victimize women and girls.
Gomani said they are working in partnerships with District Council to ensure that the by-laws are not infringing on the people’s rights.
Executive Director for Women Legal Resource Centre (WORLEC), Maggie Kathewera Banda viewed that resource should be channelled to where the problems are in order to address issues of GBV.
She said investment in essential services would be cardinal in the drive to end the vice adding victim support units and social welfare offices need to be provided with adequate resources.