Minister of Gender Jean Sendeza lobbies media to champion end of GBV in Malawi


Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Jean Sendeza, has appealed to the media to champion the fight against Gender based violence (GBV) in the country.

Sendeza said gender based violence is a universal and complex phenomenon that poses a major public health problem and it remains one of the most widespread human rights abuses affecting individuals (especially women) and communities everywhere.

Speaking during best practices conference on GBV response and access to justice services and the launch of Malawi Irish Consortium on Gender based violence (MICGBV) Advocacy strategy at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on Tuesday, the minister acknowledged the importance of the media and further encouraged journalists to add extra gear in reporting about Gender based violence at every level.

She said Malawi continues to register increased cases of gender-based violence despite several efforts by government, CSOs and all relevant stakeholders to end the vice saying the situation has led to high demand for GBV services among survivors and hence the need for a multi-sectorial and coordinated approach at community, district and national levels.

“The Government of Malawi under the leadership of Lazarus Chakwera is committed to ending gender based violence in the country. This commitment has been demonstrated through the development of policies, programmes and strategies that address GBV and promote equality among men, women, boys and girls. Among others, these include: The Gender Equality Act; the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act; the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act; Child Care, Protection and Justice Act,” she said.

She further commended the members of the Malawi Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence for their unwavering support towards promoting evidence-based programming on gender equality and Gender Based Violence.

Complementing what the Minister said, Malawi Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence Chairperson and Country Director for Concern worldwide Lucy Mwangi said there are so many things that the media could do to fight Gender based violence including supporting awareness and dissemination of nationally owned GBV referral protocols, laws and policies across key sectors among others.

She said the media can also strengthen collaboration with MICGBV and relevant non-governmental organizations and institutions in GBV prevention activities by finding the reliable and credible information sources and references for GBV stories.

Mwangi said as the consortium they are ready to work hand in hand with the media for the common goal.

However, Media Council of Malawi Executive Director Moses Kaufa requested all the organizations and institutions to refrain from only using the media as a communication channel but rather regard the media as partners in various campaigns.