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MAGGA leads Mulanje girls to petition over gender based violence

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The Malawi Girl Guide Association MAGGA says girls and women in the country continue to face gender based violence due to lack of proper structures of reporting the abuse.

The girls match to Mulanje District Commissioner's office The girls match to Mulanje District Commissioner's office

Chief Commissioner for MAGGA Mary Ngwale said there has not been an enabling environment for women and girls to talk about the abuses that women and girls face in their workplaces and schools.

Ngwale said Malawi Girl Guide Association has intensified a campaign called Ndiulura (I will speak out) which aims at encouraging women to speak out against all forms of abuse that they face in worlkplaces as well as in schools.

Taking advantage of the 16 days of activism, the association in Mulanje held a big walk from Nkhonya to Mulanje District Commissioner’s office where they delivered a petition.

Among the critical issues that the girls, in conjunction with the association, petitioned included the need for teachers to create an enabling environment for the students to thrive in their education.

It was also noted that there is an increase in child marriages in the district and the petition called on all relevant stakeholders to hold hands and end child marriages in the district.

Chief Commission for Malawi Girl Guide Association Mary Ngwale said girls and women continue to face different forms of abuse which range from sexual harassment, rape, early marriages, physical and emotional harm among others.

She said her association appreciates all these forms of human rights violation and they will not relent until they see that girls and women are protected in school and workplaces.

“The people that we work with do not know their rights or where to report their cases and it is for this reason that we want to give a voice to the girls and what they can do once they face such kind of violation. We are taking action towards eliminating such form of abuse and we want to be the leaders of change for them,” explained Ngwale.

Mkwanda (L) receives the petition from one of the girls

Receiving the petition on behalf of Mulanje District Commissioner, Director of Administration Grey Mkwanda said the petition will be channeled to the right authorities and was quick to mention that as a council, they are working hand in hand with such organizations to address the challenges that women and girls face in the district.

“In our budget, these are some of the issues where we have allocated money for and ought to be addressed. We are working with various stakeholders on getting rid of such violations in the society and we are involving the police in eliminating this vice amongst people in society,” explained Mkwanda.

At the launch of this year's 16 days of activism, Action Aid in conjunction with various stakeholders launched a campaign called: I will not be silent - Ndiulura as a way of encouraging women and girls to speak out and seek relevant help if they are abused in school and workplaces.

Malawi Girl Guide Association is working in Mulanje district which is one of the districts with high HIV prevalence rate and early marriages are on the rise.

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