Dowa, The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) last week called for an end to gender based violence in the country.
The call was made in Madisi, Dowa by MCC’s Programs Coordinator Mtheto Lungu on the sidelines of a training workshop of church leaders on gender based violence.
According to Lungu, the training was part of activities of the 16 days of gender activism that the country was observing under the theme of ‘leave no one behind.’
Lungu disclosed that cases of violence were on the increase in communities due to lack of awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV) issues.
You see, the lack of civic education on GBV is escalating the cases in rural communities. Some people do not even realize that they are committing GBV. There are people who think beating up their spouses is normal but it’s not. This is why we need to intensify civic education. Lungu said.
According to Lungu MCC has embarked on a series of trainings through a project called Christian theology and gender based violence with an aim to impart knowledge in rural communities on gender based violence.
Through these trainings we are intensifying awareness on several legislations that deal with gender based violence issues. These include the family relations, marriage and divorce act and the human trafficking act. We have all these good pieces of legislation to help eradicate GBV but we are failing to use them because of lack of civic education, he said.
And speaking to this reporter one of the participants Reverend Charles Mwale expressed worry on the lack of civic education among people on human rights.
Mwale has since urged MCC and the clergy to remain committed in educating rural communities on human rights.
To be frank these issues of human rights call for intense civic education. I can challenge you that as much as we as nation claim to have human rights but we do not maximize the rights we have. We are still limited in some things hence the many cases of gender based violence. Emotionally we are harassed by our spouses, financially we lack independence hence the economic kind of GBV. If we are talk about physical violence then it is evident from the fights in the families. Reverend Mwale said.
Meanwhile another participant Mary Msukwa, expressed gratitude with the training saying it will enlighten families on the dangers of gender based violence.
I find this training very important because it has assisted us understand how the law can protect and address issues of harassment in our families. At least after this training we will be able to know and spread the message of stopping GBV which to me starts with reporting the cases Msukwa said.
MCC is conducting the training through act alliance with funding from Norwegian Church aid.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA