6 January 2018

Malawi Gets U.S.$259,000 Britain Funding to Fight Abuse of Women and Girls

Malawi has received a boost in addressing the increased cases of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) with financial assistance from the British government through the Department for International Development (DFID) with a maximum of £19 million (MK18,679,961,152).

Head of DFID in Malawi Jen Marshall said in a statement seen by Nyasa Times on Friday that the programme will support Malawian citizens and institutions in preventing GBV and improve access to justice for women and child survivors of violence.

Marshall said breaking the cycle of abuse was a crucial aim, saying the DFID will team up with a range of innovative grassroots organisations with the local knowledge and expertise to drive forward action to protect vulnerable women and girls and support victims.

DFID has since invited organisations to submit bids for the implementation of the new flagship six-year programme.

"Globally, gender-based violence is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations. In Malawi, despite a robust legislative and policy framework to promote gender equality and tackle gender based violence, prevalence rates of violence against women and children continue to be very high," the statement reads in part.

The statement further says the UK consulted widely with Malawian stakeholders in all three regions of the country in the design of the programme and established that nearly one in three women has experienced physical violence and one in four has experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.

One in five girls and one in seven boys under the age of 18 have experienced sexual violence.

Said Marshall: "Through this programme, we will help individuals, government and non-governmental organisations prevent violence in the first place, and to better respond to violence when it occurs.

"This investment is DFID Malawi's major contribution to the efforts of the Malawi Government and civil society to address gender based violence. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that more women and children are living a life free of violence."

Last year Civil Society Organisations and human rights defenders in Malawi Ttook to the streets of the capital Lilongwe to demonstrate against increasing cases of GBV.

The parade was led by the country's Chairperson of Women's Parliamentary Caucus, Jessie Kabwira, who lashed at the GBV perpetrators, branding them cowards.

During the march, the activists were also joined by the country's Resident Coordinator for the United Nations, Mia Seppo

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