Action Aid Ireland country director Siobhan McGee says her organisation is impressed with the involvement of men in ending gender based violence in Malawi.
Speaking in Chiradzulu during activities on gender based violence, McGee said Malawi compares favourably with other countries across the world.
“Out of all the countries Action Aid supports like Nepal, Kenya, Vietnam, it is only Malawi that is actively involving men in the fight against gender based violence and child abuse.
“This has attracted us to come and experience how the project is implemented,” said McGee.
The activities took place at Nangaonde village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mpama in Chiradzulu district where Tadzuka Women Forum (TAWOFO) through Ufulu wa Amayi (UWAMA) with financial support from Action Aid Ireland launched a ‘real men’ project.
‘Real men’ is aimed at civic educating men on how to end gender based violence and abuse of girl’s rights.
Due to decrease in gender based violence in Chiradzulu, country directors from countries where Action Aid Ireland implemented women rights projects visited the district with the purpose of learning how this happens.
In her remarks, TAWOFO executive director, Chrissy Magombo, thanked Action Aid for the support they provide in ensuring that cases of gender based violence are reaching at a zero rate in the country.
“We are pleased with the support you provide the country. Your support is bearing fruits in the country. Since issues of GBV which were rampant in the past years in the district have eased because people are aware of the consequences of GBV,” said Magombo.
Magombo further thanked ‘real men’ for their willingness in joining hands in the fight against the abuses.
“Men are perpetuators of gender based violence, however, if they are taught on the effects of these malpractices they become aware hence being agencies of change in the communities,” lamented Magombo.
Traditional Authority (T/A) Mpama also thanked TAWOFO for implementing the initiatives in the district as it has assisted in decreasing the rate of human rights abuses by empowering both the women and girls in different programmes.
“In the past before TAWOFO came in, lots of cases pertaining to human rights abuses like husbands chopping their spouses’ hands, defilement, were on the rise in the district however, following the launch of these projects these cases have decreased.
This is not due to fact that the women are not reporting the cases but men are now aware of the consequences,” said Mpama.
T/A Mpama further asked organizations and well-wishers to join hands with Action Aid in ending the violence among women and girls in the country as it assists in developing nations.
Each ‘real men’ group consists of about 80 men per Traditional Authority, who undergo one year training on how to end gender based violence and promote girl’s rights.
Currently there are three groups of ‘real men’ in Chiradzulu district.
Among Action Aid representatives that visited the district were country directors from Nepal, Kenya, Vietnam and Ireland.