Ireland Ambassador Gerry Cunningham has called on every Malawian to play a role in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) in the country and across the world.
He made the remarks at Kauma in Lilongwe during commemorations of 16 Days of Activism Against GBV where he said the country can make progress in other sectors of development if it combats GBV.
Said Cunningham: “Unless we address GBV and gender inequality, we will not be able to make progress with other targets and interventions that government and other organisations are making. “
In her remarks, Ministry of Gender, Disability and Social Welfare Principal Secretary (PS) Esmie Kainja urged all women and children to report to police and other relevant authorities whenever they are faced with GBV.
Kainja said women should not hide when they have been raped by their husbands.
“It is a known fact now that some men rape their wives so the message is that they should not treat the cases as private issues anymore but should report whenever that happens,” she said.
The PS commended the press, religious leaders and traditional leaders for the role they are playing in bringing issues of GBV out in the open.
Malawi is commemorating 16 days of activism against GBV from November 25 to December 10. The days are set aside to encourage commitment to the fight against GBV.
“During these 16 days of activism, each Malawian should reflect on what role they can play in the fight against GBV and make a change, “said Kainja.
The commemorations were organised by the International Non-Governmental Organisations (Ingo) with funding from the Irish people. n