Minister of Information and Digitisation Gospel Kazako says online gender-based violence which has not received attention is an emerging concept in Malawi and the rest of the southern Africa.
The minister said this in Lilongwe on Tuesday during the launch of the Southern Africa report on online gender-based violence titled Understanding Online Gender-based Violence in Southern Africa.
The report provides regional evidence on the prevalence of digitally enabled gender-based violence as well as the policy and practice frameworks in response to the emerging phenomenon.
Kazako said this new phenomenon has not received much attention, especially in policy-related interventions compared to physical violence.
“We have formulated the National Cyber Security Strategy (2019-2024), which is aimed at providing a national framework for ensuring secure, safe and resilient cyberspace as well as fostering trust and confidence in cyberspace,” he said.
Kazako said the Malawi Government will ensure that all constitutional provisions that protect the rights of women and girls are further strengthened through various regulatory interventions.
Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare principal gender and development officer Japhet Chirwa said government has shown commitment to responding and tackling online gender-based violence by developing the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act of 2016.
Gender activist Barbara Banda said there is need to ensure that women and young girls are aware of online gender-based violence and the policies available for redress.
Gender Justice Unit executive director Sarai Chisala-Tempelhoff called for multi-stakeholder response to the vice.
The study focused on eight countries, namely Botswana, Malawi, Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.