The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is an international campaign that starts on the 25th day of every month of November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level.
This year’s theme is ”Let’s challenge aggression and end violence against women and girls”
Malawian girls and women face a lot of challenges whenever they are trying to seek justice after experiencing gender based violence. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed so as to enable the women and girls who are the most vulnerable groups to access justice and protection. There is need for political will to facilitate decisive actions against the perpetrators.
However, the Malawi government has tried to show its commitment by enacting a number or laws and policies to ensure that the survivors of Gender based violence and abuse are assisted accordingly and that the perpetrators are brought to book. Furthermore, on the part of the civil society, there are a number of organizations and institutions that are doing a wonderful job on the ground. Most survivors of violence and abuse easily get the necessary assistance.
YONECO is one of the organisations in Malawi which is fully taking part in fighting against violence that is perpetrated towards women and girls. The organization further advocate and lobby for more enabling policies and laws so as to support the victims. Furthermore, the organization offers counseling to the survivors or others who are experiencing abuse.
There are so many effects and aftermaths of GBV and in the long run they hold the societal values. An abused woman lives in fear, unable to predict when the next attack will come. She may become isolated from friends and family, and sometimes they increasingly get dependent on the abuser. In these circumstances it can be very hard to make sense of what is really happening. Over time her self-esteem wears out and an abused woman or girl may start to believe in the abuser’s insults. She may blame herself for the abuse or deny that it is taking place. The end result is very disastrous and such indoctrinated people cannot positively contribute to the development of their societies. If it is a married woman, she just ignores the abuses and neglect and hope that her partner, the man she loves, will change.
“Let’s challenge aggression and end violence against women and girls”