Balaka — Pic sourced from internet
District Gender Officer for Balaka, Hanna Nyirenda has observed that silence among women is one of the contributing factors perpetuating Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
She made the observation on Wednesday at Manika Community Ground in Balaka during the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against GBV.
Nyirenda said sexual harassment, economic and emotional abuse and forced early marriages were some of the GBV that are rampant in the district.
"Women are more vulnerable as they have been enduring various abuses and some of them opt to be silent instead of reporting such perpetrators to relevant authorities so that they should be cautioned," she observed.
Nyirenda applauded Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for jointly working with Ministry of Gender with an aim of ending GBV.
Chairperson for Balaka District Council, Thomson Bwanali described the commemorations as being useful since it was an eye opener to people who perceive women negatively.
"Issues of GBV are a reality here especially in markets, hospitals even at police. The council has lined up a number of activities to address such cases," he said.
Assistant Country Programmes Director for Goal Malawi, Phyllis Jepikorir called for collaborative efforts from all partners if the country was to end GBV.
"We have few numbers of organisations supporting this project, I would like to appeal to all the organisations to join hands and support communities in efforts of fighting GBV," she appealed.
Jepikorir said a recent survey conducted by Goal Malawi established that women and girls were vulnerable as they are not given a platform to speak out about the abuses such that men take advantage of the situation to manipulate the women.
Malawi observes 16 days of gender activism against women from November 25 to December 10 each year.
Balaka commemorated event under the theme: 'Ending gender based violence in the world of work and tertiary institutions.'