Judges fight GBV at Dzaleka

Dzaleka refugee camp

Women Judges Association of Malawi (WOJAM) on Saturday commemorated this year’s 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) with refugees and asylum seekers at the Dzaleka camp in Dowa.

The commemoration was organised at the camp because of this year’s theme ” Leave no one behind ” so that refugees and asylum seekers should not be left alone since GBV cases are of serious concern to women and girls living in the camp.

Dzaleka refugee camp
GBV rampant at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.(File)

Speaking at the function, WOJAM’s Programs Coordinator Justice Zione Ntaba called on all the communities in the country not to entertain GBV cases in their respective areas and that they should work together in reporting such cases to the relevant authorities including the police and courts so that the offenders  should be punished accordingly to end the malpractices.

Ntaba, who is a High Court Judge in Zomba lamented that most women and girls fail to report GBV cases thinking that justice will not be on their side because they are poor.

She urged them to  to take away this mentality and start  reporting the cases for justice to prevail.

Ntaba appealed to fellow judges in the country not to take side in GBV cases so that stiffer punishment should be given to those found guilty as a lesson to would be offenders.

In her remarks, the leader of the camp for women, Cecilia Pango, said most of the  women and girls do not report GBV to the authorities for various reasons one of them being afraid of the attackers from within the camp as they originated from different countries.

Pango who is from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said women and girls are regarded as inferiors and have nothing to say to the communities in the camp hence suffering GBV cases in silence.

She called for serious interventions by government and NGOs in combating GBV cases so that those found violating the rights of women and girls be brought to book.

Dowa is one of the districts in Malawi where GBV cases against women and girls are on the increase  due to among other contributing factor intermarriages.

The 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence  campaign was launched on Friday, December, 1, 2017 in Blantyre.