One of Malawi’s young female activists Rabecca Makhuwira has called on girls in the country to speak out on issues affecting them, including sexual harassment, sex for grades among others.
Makhuwira made the call at Malawi Museums in Blantyre during a Girl Advocacy Day organized by Center for Women and Girls Empowerment (CEWOGE).
She called on girls to stand firm in whatever activities they find themselves engaged, with determination to do it better than their male counterparts.
She disclosed that the issue of violence against women and girls, including rape, and sexual harassment in schools and offices remain high in the country and need to be abolished.
“It is about time Malawian girls are empowered with all forms of educational skills,” she declared.
Makhuwira who is also the Youth African Leaders Initiative(YALI) Fellow, challenged all girls to rise up and report all forms of harassment at their various schools and communities.
“We need to report all forms of harassment. If we don’t speak out, these issues will continue affecting us,
“If such issues are going on in your schools, communities and at the job site, voice it out and make others understand what you are going through.” she said.
Makhuwira also emphasized that there is a need to establish life skills programs, not only for girls but also for teachers in order to educate them about the dangers of sex for grades and other forms of harassment.
“If teachers do not teach in a gender responsive way, it will create a bad atmosphere for our girls’ education,” Makhuwira stressed.
Speaking after the event Charity Chiziko of Limbe Community Day Secondary School said she was very excited to be part of the event as she had learned a lot of things through the event.
“This experience has been so important to me. I have learned so many things that I will be able to teach my friends about self advocacy,” she said.
She further said with all the new information she will be able to make more informed decisions about her country and create opinions based on facts.
For her part CEWOGE Executive Director Carol Marjorie Chidothe said the organization was established to improve the lives of women and girls and protect them by advocating for their rights.
CEWOGE organized this annual event to mark its two months of self advocacy which particularly aims at informing girls about the power their voice can make in their community.
Apart from the presentations, the event was spiced up with music, poetry and drama performances.