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The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare trained the media in Blantyre on the 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and the Ndiulula, I won’t Be Silent campaign on 22nd November.

In his presentation during training, the Principal Gender and Development Officer in theMinistry Joseph Kalelo underscored that Gender based violence is a violation of human rights and informed participants about the Public Response Management Information System (PRMIS) which helps victims fronting GBV to report to, for instance, the Police Victim Support Unit, Health sector, Courts and the Ministry.

“A Study on Sexual Harassment in Workplaces and Higher Institutions of Learning conducted by Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare in 2013 revealed that 96% of sexual harassment cases are perpetrated by men in positions of power. In addition, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that women are usually not aware that they are victims of abuse hence there is need for awareness on issues of human rights and Malawi should take a coordinated action against the perpetrators of the malpractice,” said Kalelo.

Making a presentation on sexual harassment the Project Director of Engender Health Chisomo Kaufulu defined sexual harassment as any act that involves the making of unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances or obscene remarks. These sexual advances may result in depression and intimidation which will have a negative impact in the work place as someone who has been psychologically affected may not be productive at the work place. Kaufulu further emphasized on the need for institutionalization of GBV policies in work places as a way of combating sexual harassment and advised the need for men to embrace positive masculinity.

Doreen Kayoyo who is a member of Activista youth, championing the #Ndiulula campaign said Ndiulula, I won’t Be Silent Campaign aims empowering the public and raising awareness to help victims of abuse in the workplace to break the silence on violence, especially sexual harassment, strengthen mechanisms that are dealing with sexual harassment issues, and bringing out solidarity in the community.

Every year the world campaigns against Gender Based Violence from 25th November to 10th December. Malawi is observing the campaign under the theme: “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work and Tertiary Institutions.”