Human Rights

CCJP drills players in the gender sector on gender-related laws as GBV cases surge

Malawi continues to register a significant rise in the number of gender-based violence (GBV) despite combined efforts between the government non-governmental organizations to end the vice.

On Friday last week, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) on Friday assembled gender rights activists in Mponela, Dowa, for a day-long regroup and reflection meeting on gender-related laws.

Zimba: There are so many gaps in our gender-related laws--Photo by Watiapso Mzungu
Zimba: There are so many gaps in our gender-related laws–Photo by Watiapso Mzungu

The training was funded by the NCA-DCA Malawi Country Programme through a project titled “Enhancing Effective Protection and Promotion of Rights of Women and Girls from Gender Violence through Improved Justice Delivery, Self-advocacy, and Self-activism”.

The reflection meeting attracted representatives from government ministries, department and agencies (MDAs), the police and non-governmental organizations, including National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi Nurses (NONM), the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), the Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM), the Catholic Women Association (CWA), the police, Oxfam Malawi, Gender and Justice Unit (GJU) and youth-led organisations.

CCJP Project Officer responsible for gender, Stella Zimba, said the meeting was convened to create an informed and strategic framework for addressing gender-based violence GBV through reflective dialogue and tailored institutional action plans, ultimately fostering a safer and more equitable environment.

Francis Chitenje of the Minister of Gender facilitating the regroup and reflection meeting convened by CCJP–Watipsao Mzungu

Zimba said her organization has observed that despite the country boasting of some of the most progressive and punitive laws that would help in eliminating the vice, there are still gaps in their implementation.

“There are a lot of gaps in gender-related laws. One of those gaps is that majority of the women whom these laws intend to protect, are not aware of them. Again, we have observed that the laws we have as a country are biased towards women. For instance, when you talk about deceased estate, the laws favour women while ignoring the rights of men,” she narrated.

Deputy National Secretary for the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Virginia Chimodzi, described the regroup and reflection meeting as timely, stressing that the knowledge she got from it will enhance their skills and knowledge about gender-related laws.

Chimodzi assured the meeting that the knowledge they gained would be passed on to APAM members across the country.

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