GBV still on the rise, NGOs intensify efforts

Despite numerous interventions to reduce Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases, non-government organisations have admitted that the malpractice is still on the rise in most areas of the country.

This was revealed during GBV stakeholders meeting held on Tuesday in the commercial city of Blantyre organized by Women Legal Resource Center (WOLREC).

According to WOLREC project Officer Ernest Mujavo, the stakeholders meeting was aimed at reviewing projects which were implemented last year in the fight against gender based violence.

Mujavo said from their assessment, dealing with GBV in the country needs a network of several Non-Governmental Organizations with a common goal hence their engagement with other NGOs through such meetings.

However, during the meeting, it was noted that regardless of efforts by the government and other NGOs, cases of Gender Based Violence are still rampant in most district in the country.

According to Jean Kaira who is vice president of the Women Judges Association of Malawi (WOJAM) which intensifies justice in cases of Gender Based Violence, day in day out there are a rapid increase of GBV cases.

“For WOJAM, our main component is about being sensitive in court when we have got the victims as witnesses and we have trained our officers to be sensitive in handling such cases and that magistrates are told to be innovative enough when handling such cases.

“GBV cases are increasing and it’s because people are now more aware of their rights and responsibilities, they know places where to report for duty bearers to take their cases to courts. So the increase is coming in because of awareness.” Said Kaira.

She further said that as a way of intensifying efforts and ensuring that justice is prevailing in GBV cases, they implemented a mobile court service delivery where courts moves from ordinary duty stations to rural areas.

Another GBV fighting NGO, In Gender Health, through its Programs Manager Temwa Kasakula said there is a consolidated effort claiming that though the cases are still on rise, there is a significant change but it is too slow.

She said that social norms that perpetuate gender based violence are deep rooted in the way Malawians as a community operates hence it is so difficult to change that.