The Non-Governmental Organizations Gender Coordination Network (NGO GCN) on Friday organized a day-long workshop to train women in Nkhata-bay on issues concerning Gender Based Violence.
Speaking during the workshop, District Gender Development Officer for Nkhata-bay Cecelia Kaunda decried the recent rise of Gender Basic Violence cases in the country.
“Malawi is registering an increase in terms of Gender basic violence especially young girls of the age below 20, defilement and rape cases are everywhere in the country, for example during the 16 days of GBV last year about 12,995 girls got married, and in Nkhata-bay alone about 146 girl got married, 74 pregnated and 106 were rescued from early marriages.” She said.
She added that sometimes GBV cases happen as a result of some harmful traditional and religious beliefs.
“There is this thing whereby people organize some entertainment dances that attract girls to spend overnight, this also contributes GBV where girls find themselves in drinking groups and thereafter people rape or defile them.
“On top of that there are some cultures whereby parents force girls into early marriages that’s is also Gender Based Violence,” Said Kaunda.
On her part, Elita Mwale who is NGO GCN Assistant Project Officer, said the workshops are aimed at teaching women and girls on how they can be empowered financially and mentally.
“Today we were meeting women from different Traditional Authorities mainly to discuss on challenges they are meeting in everyday life especially when it comes to violence against women and girls.
“What we discussed is how women and girls can be empowered financially but also mentally and everything that they do in their everyday lives,” Said Mwale.
One of the participants Lusungu Chirwa from TA Zilakomwa hailed NGO GCN for the mentorship meeting said it will help them to teach others about GBV in their communities.
“As women we have learnt a lot of knowing what is good and bad to us, we are now able to share to our friends on what is Gender Based Violence,” said Chirwa.
The workshop attracted forty women drawn from seven TAs with support from UN Women Spotlight Initiative programme.