The period from 25th November to 10th December is iconic to all people worldwide every year as it is a time of reflection and renewed commitment in the fight against gender based violence (GBV) and Malawi as a nation is never left out in this good fight.
During the launch of this year’s 16 days of activism against GBV which took place on 23rd November at College of Medicine in Blantyre, the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Cecilia Chazama was quick to come to an allusion that gender based violence is counterproductive and retrogressive to the development of any country. She called on Malawians to join hands in the fight against Gender Based Violence particularly in the work places and tertiary institutions.
During same day, the Ministry launched a National Campaign called Ndiulula: I Won’t be silent, a joint government and civil society national advocacy initiative which is designed to help employees and institutions to unite in breaking the silence on violence against women and girls in the world of work.
“My Ministry will work hand in hand with all stakeholders to put in place mechanisms for reporting and redress of violence and promote decent lives for women and girls in workplaces” said Chadzama in her remarks when unpacking the Ndiulula: I won’t be silent campaign.
Concurring with the minister, Actionaid Malawi Executive Director Grace Malera, said that the Ndiulula: I Won’t be silent campaign is premised on the background of increasing levels of violence and harassment in the world of work which remains one of the most tolerated violations of workers’ human rights. “Although both women and men experience violence and harassment, unequal status and power relations leave women and girls vulnerable to violence and harassment in both formal and informal places of work” she said.
Speaking during the launch, the UN Women Representative Clara Anyangwe commended the Malawi government in its efforts in the fight against the GBV. In her remarks she said that violence against women and girls is a real pandemic in the country due to patriarchal norms and values. “Laws must recognize that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination against women and a human rights violation while protecting those in both formal and informal workplaces” Anyangwe said.
The global theme for 2018 sixteen days of activism against gender violence is “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work” however,Malawi will observe the campaign under the theme “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work and Tertiary Institutions.”