Unite to Prevent Gender-Based Violence: A Call to Action for Girls and Young Women
Mzimba, Malawi – Today marks the official launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Malawi under the theme “Unite! Invest to prevent gender-based violence in Malawi.” The campaign, which runs from November 25 to December 10, aims to raise awareness and galvanize action to end all forms of GBV against women and girls.
In a powerful address, Hon. Jean M. Sendeza MP, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, called upon authorities at all levels to ensure they invest adequate resources to combat GBV. She emphasized the need for district councils to allocate sufficient funds in their budgets to support GBV prevention and response initiatives.
“District Councils please ensure your budgets have enough allocations to ending gender-based violence,” Hon. Sendeza urged.
Echoing the Minister’s call, Ms. Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, United Nations Resident Coordinator, highlighted the alarming prevalence of GBV globally, stating that one in three women experience physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
“Each year, 245 million women and girls aged 15 years or older globally experience physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner,” Ms. Adda-Dontoh stated gravely.
These stark statistics underscore the urgent need for concerted action to prevent GBV and protect women and girls. The 16 Days of Activism campaign provides a crucial platform to mobilize individuals, organizations, and governments to take action against this pervasive human rights violation.
As the National Coordinator for the Girls Activist Youth Organization (GAYO), I am committed to empowering girls and young women to become active participants in the fight against GBV. We believe that education, awareness, and advocacy are essential tools in preventing and responding to GBV.
During the 16 Days of Activism, GAYO will be organizing a series of events and activities to raise awareness about GBV and engage girls and young women in discussions about how to prevent and address it. We will also be working to strengthen our support networks for survivors of GBV.
I urge all girls and young women to join us in this important fight. Together, we can create a world where all women and girls are free from violence and discrimination.