The Ministry of Local government has urged the female councilors to help in ending Gender-Based Violence saying they must empower the rights of women and girls.
Deputy Minister of Local Government , Halima Daudi presided over a two-day Women Councillors’ caucus General Assembly in Mzuzu where she said female councilors have obligation to ensure that they play their responsibility in ending Gender-Based Violence.
At the General Assembly which is being held under the theme of “Unite! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls” Daud said it is worrisome to note that women and girls are still suffering from the vice.
“There will be a significant impact once the stakeholders collectively support girl child education, encourage women and girls to report Gender-based violence to responsible authorities like Police and involve men and boys to support women and girl cause,” said Daud.
Daud said her Ministry through chiefs, has played a significant role in creating chiefs’ forum, through which they encourage communities to end gender based violence and has also facilitated to end child marriages and sent girls back to school.
She emphasised that gender based violence is a violation of human rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and other international instruments and commitments that Malawi is a signatory including the Convention in Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Daud urged the women councillors and all in leadership positions to be real champions of fighting inequality at the local level, in their capacity as legislative and policy makers at the local level.
Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) Executive Director Hadrod Mkandawire said the caucus was organised to strategically position the women councillors in political positions while on the same way being able to influence gender sensitive budgets.
Vice Chairperson for Women Councillors Caucus Esther Sagawa said it was unpleasing that women and girls remain poor and are exposed to various issues emanating from gender based violence including sexual abuse.
This was the second ever Women in Local Government Conference in Malawi after the first one six months ago. It was sponsored by Oxfam, Trocaire, Action Aid, INNO Build, Grand Palace Hotel and NGO Regulatory Authority (NGORA).