Female journalists under Association of Women in Media (AWOME) conducted peaceful demonstrations against rape of children and women on Tuesday in Lilongwe.
The protests which were also held in Blantyre were conducted following the increase in cases of rape and child sexual abuse in the country.
The protests started from Kamuzu Central Hospital roundabout via parliament building roundabout to Civic offices where the journalists presented their petition to the City Council Mayor Juliana Kaduya after failing to present to Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati who said she was in another meeting.
In the petition, the women have requested the Ministry of Gender to ensure that there is stiff punishment for rape convicts in order to protect girls.
After receiving the petition, Kaduya pledged to engage different players in fight against rape and defilement.
In her remarks, rights activist Jessie Kabwila applauded AWOME for standing up to speak as a first step to take action considering that there is a tendency of complaining but only few people are able to stand and speak.
Kabwila added that duty bearers should be held accountable and action should be taken by bringing awareness on the issue of rape.
“Government should make it clear that wearing a short and tight dress is not any excuse for anyone to rape a woman, l also believe that the issue of stiff punishment should be considered, we should stop blaming the victims to say she was drunk or she was at a nightclub.
“Malawian women should have a right to be at any place at any time, there is no excuse for raping someone,” she said.
In her remarks, chairperson of the protest committee Josephine Phumisa said that the media have written, reported and published a lot about issues of rape and defilement but much has not be done as such the demonstrations were an eyeopener to government so that it can be active.