By Leah Chiweza Banda
Lilongwe, Mana: Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has bemoaned the prevailing cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country which she said has left survivors with physical and psychological wounds.
The Minister made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday when she launched the Arms of Liberty Project.
She said such issues should not be hidden if the fight against GBV is to be won.
“GBV issues are at large and it is not easy to listen to the accounts. But we cannot, and must not, pretend these atrocities are not taking place. The human costs are enormous, and the consequences are devastating,” she said.
Kaliati described the implementation of the project as timely in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic where women are in the forefront in the fight against the virus.
“Women’s involvement in this fight puts them at the receiving end of various forms of abuse and violence at work, on the way to and from work and in the communities.
“Therefore, this project has come at an opportune time as the country is recovering from the scars orchestrated by the Covid-19 pandemic as manifested in the increase in incidences of violence against women,” she said.
Kaliati expressed concern that there is a tendency of coming up with good policies that do not come to fruition in the implementation process.
She, therefore, stressed on the need for effective implementation of the project to benefit the intended beneficiaries.
In her remarks, United Nations Women Representative, Clara Anyangwe, said this is the first time they are targeting women in uniform using a project to directly support them.
“The initiative has never been implemented in the country so it will help in building capacity of women in uniform to protect women, girls and children from GBV,” she said.
The project is aimed at mitigating GBV that women are facing in the country by ensuring that women in uniform who are usually side-lined with interventions are reached out. It will also help to ensure their safety and security through creation of conducive and supportive communities.