Vice President Saulos Chilima has called on women lawyers to draft laws which should spell out severe punishment for rapists.
He made the remarks at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe on Saturday during Women Lawyers Association (WLA) networking meeting.
The vice president said stiff punishment will help reduce the rise in rape cases and cases of gender based violence.
“We cannot be smiling when our women are still being harassed, we need to take more drastic action than massaging these rapists, the current situation is regressive,” he said.
The vice president condemned some herbalists saying they are fueling the rape incidences by advising men to have sex with young girls or relatives as rituals to become rich, while the herbalists themselves remain poor.
Chilima then hailed the women lawyers for defending the voiceless citing the case where women lawyers defended Nsundwe women who were raped by police officers.
“I know women lawyers are subjected to a lot of discriminations which put themselves at risks for standing for the rights of others, and you have always stood on your feet to defend the voiceless, this is very commendable,” he said.
He assured WLA and other human rights defenders that the Tonse Alliance administration will remain steadfast in ensuring that they are all protected in the course of doing their work.
UN Representative, Maria Jose Torres, expressed worry that there is huge increase of women and girl’s rights violations across the world despite many efforts made to deter the vice.
“It’s shocking and very sad to report that women abuse is at the increase, rape and defilement is among the worst and sad to say that Malawi is not an exception. Let us not relent in defending rights and seeking justice for our women,” she said.