Malawi: Women Empowerment Solution to GBV Rise in Lilongwe 

The rise in gender-based violence (GBV) cases in Lilongwe district of Malawi is alarming and calls for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

Development Diaries reports that according to the Lilongwe District Council, 6,859 GBV cases were recorded from April 2023 to April 2024.

It is understood that out of the 6,859 cases, 5,429 involved women while 1,430 were males. The district has also attributed the increase to poverty and lack of self-reliance as some of the factors contributing to the high rate of GBV in the communities.

For us, this increase highlights the systemic issues that allow such violence to flourish.

A 2020 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) survey found that 42 percent of Malawian women had at some point in their lives been physically abused by a partner.

Among the concerns raised by the district is the need for women’s empowerment because many of the women are victims of GBV as they rely on men for their survival.

The Lilongwe District Council’s concern over the rise in GBV cases underscores the critical need for empowering women as a strategic measure to combat this pervasive issue.

Empowerment can come in the form of education, economic support and legal services, including awareness of rights and access to justice, and ensuring that women can seek redress and protection against violence, creating a deterrent effect on potential perpetrators.

Empowering women should also involve engaging men and boys in the conversation, fostering an environment where GBV is collectively condemned and actively prevented.

Also, public awareness campaigns are crucial to shift cultural attitudes and stigmas associated with GBV, encouraging communities to speak out and support survivors.

Development Diaries calls on the Malawi Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare to embark on empowerment initiatives that are vital for the long-term reduction of GBV cases in Lilongwe.

Source: Nyasa Times

Photo source: USAID in Ghana/Rawpixel


About the Author