Community based Organisations (CBOs) in Chikwawa have been challenged to find ways of responding to the rising cases of gender-based violence in the district.
The call was made on Tuesday during an opening of a one-week capacity building workshop which Art and Global Health Center Africa (ARTGLO) organised for about ten Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in the district to equip them with various skills.
Speaking during an interview, ARTGLO project assistant for the MAWA project, Caroline Luka, attributed the rising cases of gender-based violence in the district to some deep rooted patriarchal cultural norms which she said requires the communities themselves to have a mindset change as a long-lasting solution.
“As an organisation we believe that time has come for people to come up with their own home-grown solutions in dealing with gender-based violence. So, we are training these CBOs to use participatory arts to involve their audience whenever they engage in some sort of awareness on the ills of gender-based violence.
We believe this would in turn encourage the audience to speak out as to what would be the solutions to end the vice. The solutions ought to be by the people themselves.
There is need therefore on the part of these CSOs to be open minded when finding solutions for gender-based violence,” she said.
Traditional Authority (TA) Maseya who participated in the training session shared similar remarks saying sometimes girls who undergo initiation ceremonies are taught things which are beyond their age which in turn influence them to rush into early marriages.
At the training, Chikwawa Police Victim Support Unit Coordinator, Inspector Maria Mphweya also disclosed that the police Station has seen a rise in Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases as no single day elapses without registering a case of mainly of defilement.
The training was part of the organisation’s Make Art for Women’s Activism (MAWA) project in which it is seeking to build capacity of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in the district to design and implement innovative projects to tackle violence against women and girls through the use of participatory arts.
The project also seeks to provide expertise to the local CSOs to conduct thorough research using human centered approaches.