Plan International Malawi Country Director Phoebe Kasoga has decried the culture of silence surrounding gender-based violence (GBV) in Malawi, saying it is compromising the fight against the vice.
Kasoga: Malawians need to open on GBV
Kasoga said it is disappointing to note that although government and the development partners have combined efforts to end GBV in all spheres of life, majority of Malawians do not still have the confidence to speak out on the evils of violence.
She has therefore challenged stakeholders to engage more fresh and inclusive approaches to break even in ending GBV in the country.
The Plan International Malawi chief made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times in Lilongwe as Malawi wound up this year's observation of the 16 days of activism against GBV.
Plan International Malawi took a leading role through various activities to reinforce efforts that seek to stop GBV.
Apart from being part and parcel of the national launch of the 16 days of activism in Ntchisi, Plan International Malawi engaged communities in open day campaigns that took place in Mzimba and Dowa districts.
Kasoga noted that this year's commemoration provided another fresh reflection and renewal of collective efforts in ending GBV.
"Our efforts have to be aggressively inclusive and on-going. The progress made in the fight against GBV gets compromised by the culture of silence by both males and females. We need to engage more fresh and inclusive approaches to break even in ending GBV.
"Therefore, the just ended 16 days have rejuvenated the cause in as far as ending GBV is concerned," observed Kasoga.
Plan International Malawi, using #CountMeIn, went a step further to amplify workplace sexual harassment as a form of GBV by engaging male influencers in driving the message through its online platforms.
Each of the key male influencers had a special message to share in relation to 16 days of activism against GBV.
"Our approach this year in driving the messages incorporated our male counterparts to ensure that we are all in this together. Everyone counts in ending GBV and we believe by engaging key male influencers, we have managed to set in motion a discourse that speaks inclusiveness
when we talk about gender based violence and work place sexual harassment," said Madalitso Chimwenje, Senior Gender and Influencing Specialist for Plan International Malawi.
Meanwhile, Plan International Malawi has commended the male influencers that took part in the #CountMeIn placard display voluntarily, stressing that everyone counts in ending GBV and work place sexual harassment.