Gender based violence is a vice which has derailed meaningful development in Malawi. The Majority of women suffer the indignity and often play it shy with mental degradation after suffering gender based violence.
To eradicate the vice, stakeholders and policy makers need to step up efforts that would empower women and girls for them to rise and take responsible roles in decision making positions.
This gesture would sustainably move Malawi forward in terms of development. The role of a woman as a mother need not to be overlooked for they do everything possible to fend for their families and other neighboring relations.
It is therefore imperative for a nation to stimulate its deliberate policies poised to empower women and girls. The masses should always be appreciated that educating a girl child means the entire nation is educated.
The initiative to accelerate women and girl empowerment will help in consolidating a notion that prevailed previously when women were regarded as second-class citizens. The role of women should no longer be cornered to giving birth and looking after children.
Malawi as a changed nation should inspire more women and girls to rise to decision making position. Such role models as Gender and Community Development Minister Patricia Kaliati and the first female National Assembly Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara should inject great enthusiasm in both the policy makers and up-coming women and girls themselves.
The youthful director of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Martha Chizuma and the firm chairperson of National Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Malawi), Teresa Temweka Ndanga are amongst the few women leaders who have demonstrated that women can equally perform alongside men.
President Lazarus Chakwera recently appointed Colleen Zamba as Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC). The appointment of Zamba who is deputized by another female, Janet Banda, is an indication of political will which is often not fully supported by other stakeholders outside the executive administration.
Kaliati, as Gender minister and herself a God-fearing woman who believes in being virtuous, has more often taken the lead in championing the issue of women empowerment in the country.
“Gone are the days when women were only prepared for being housewives. Let us all rise and move together in defeating gender-based violence. Women themselves should not accept being ridden upon by men. Women were not born to be mere housewives; they need empowerment,” says Kaliyati.
The gender minister further states during various gathering that the best foundation for an effective women empowerment is through a strategic engagement of educating the girl child in Malawi.
“By doing this, we shall have more women educated hence eradication of gender-based violence in the country,” Kaliati adds.
According to the Gender equality Act (chapter 25:96) it also States the same thing that it’s good to promote the equality, equal integration, influence, empowerment, dignity and opportunities for men and women in all functions in the society.
The more this happens the more young girls put their effort in education as to be like their role models mentioned above.
In an interview, a 16 year-old girl based in Mzuzu said that the way things are going nowadays it gives them hope that women empowerment is here to stay.
“I always work hard in class and always want to be the best as our fellow women in leadership, we talk of the first female Speaker of the National Assembly madam Gotani Hara, Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati, it inspires us a lot,” she said.
Vitumbiko Maulanda another young female entrepreneur also said she’s happy with President Chakwera for another appointment of a lady at his office, this really shows that as a country we are doing better.
Gone are the days where women were only seen as criers at the funerals, cooks and mayor housewives, men and women should be ensured equal treatment as provided in the Constitution.