Friday, 5 July 2013

Discussion Link

Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) is one of the implementing partners under the United Nation Joint Programme on Adolescent Girls (UN-JPAG).The project is being implemented in the areas of Traditional Authorities (T/As) Katuli and  Masache in Mangochi and Chikwawa districts respectively.  

During the outreach activity on Gender Based Violence in Chikhwawa there came up a lot of problems that are affecting the lives of young girls.  Some of them are rooted in the cultural practices like chingalawa , a practice which mostly happens when a fisherman has bought a new boat and before sailing it for the first time the fisherman is required to have sex with a young girl. There is also Thena which is a practice where by  a husband is given, as a bonus,  a younger sister to his wife and the girl innocently saves this man without any choice hence her right to choose a right partner at a right time is being violated. Kutomera , is a practice where by young girls are betrothed to old men. Girls as young as 12 years are betrothed to men of 60 years.

These cultural practices have really affected the lives of these young girls in different ways, like being forced into marriages, early pregnancies and even exposure to sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and the like. There is a lot that has to be done in order to improve the lives of these young adolescents’ girls.

 What do you think could be done in order to improve the lives of these young girls? Your views or comments are most welcome.


lemani said...
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lemani said...

Memory, I would,first of all, like to commend you for bringing up this issue.

A couple of weeks ago I was somewhere in Mangochi and the very same problems you mentioned in your post are also affecting the lives of innocent young girls there!

Honestly speaking, something has to be done to protect the dignity and rights of these blameless sisters of ours in Chikhwawa and Mangochi.

It is sad to note that the instigating apparatuses of GBV on adolescent girls derive from culture and its attendant rituals.

Culture is something we cannot do without,it is very important and neccessary. However, we can do without its devilish components that do not serve but destroy.

I think,the only way forward that looks workable is to modify our cultural customs.

This may require the involvement of concerned NGOs, government ministries like the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development,religious groupings, traditional readers who are the custidians of local culture and many other influential arms of society.

Constitutions of great nations as well as small nations are amended whenever they are perceived to be doing a diservice to the people they are supposed to serve. Our cultures should not be immune to such processes when the supreme authority of our land is not.

The proposition I have made is doable and easy!Malawi managed to change the whole system of government on 17 May 1993. 'why?' 'Beacause the one party system was very oppressive.'

Now! there are some oppressive cultural elements which also need some alterations if our sisters are to be free from fear and dehumanization.