ADRA Malawi through the Enhanced Livelihood and Gender Empowerment (ELGE) Project is currently chairing the technical committee on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the district ahead of the event marking the winding of activities marking 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence.
I6 days of Activism against Gender violence is a global campaign that highlights the plight of women and calls for action to end all forms of gender related violence. The event, which connects between women, violence and human rights was launched on November 25 and will end on December 10.
According to Andiyesa Mhango, ELGE Project Manager, the GBV committee is focusing on rising awareness on highly reported GBV cases in the district. She said that common among GBV cases are wife abandonment and rape.
She said that Mulanje District is alarmed with cases where men are abandoning their wives for no valid reasons, making them desperate to survive. She said that this has been quoted as a form of violence because many women depend on marriage for survival and the abandonment makes them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.
Andiyesa also said that rape cases are higher in the district but hinted that the most common form of rape is that which involves younger girls. She said that there is a common belief that if a man rapes a younger girl, he would succeed in cutting and selling good timber from Mulanje Mountain. Timber selling is currently hot business in the district and men have gone on rampage, raping girls in order to prosper in business.
In the wake of the event, ADRA Malawi and partners are sensitizing community members in the district. Recently, ADRA Malawi facilitated capacity building for civil society actors in the district to map out a strategy on the campaign.
The event ending 16 days of activisms will take place in Mulanje on December 18. The event will be characterized by speeches, drama, testimonies, dances and songs.
The ELGE Project is supported by the Sweden to bring about individual and society change in Mulanje District.