By Solister Mogha
Senior Chief Kuntaja of Blantyre has condemned dressing of some women and girls saying it is one of the factors contributing to increased rape and defilement cases.
Speaking during the commemoration of Day of African Child at Maliya Primary School ground, Kuntaja said God created the body of a woman very different from that of a man.
He said the distinction compels women to always dress properly for fear of provoking men.
“During our youthful days, women never exposed their body anyhow; they covered it properly and wore skirts beyond their knees.
“However, what we are seeing these days is totally different from the past; women, particularly girls, feel like exposing their bodies is being modern and fashionable,” he said.
Kuntaja, therefore, appealed to parents and guardians to be the first persons to monitor and control their children before they go out of their homes.
“Although we blame men for all the rape and defilement cases; let’s also consider the factors that arouse men into this behaviour.
“Let us all play our roles and be responsible in what we are doing so that we fight against the malpractice,” the Senior Chief said.
Speaking on the event, Kuntaja said it was very important for countries to celebrate the rights of children who were the possible future leaders.
He said if children’s rights are violated, chances are high that the country may be governed by irresponsible citizens.
“When we talk of children’s rights, we talk about a child in all aspects; children need to be provided with better education, good health care and all the basic necessities to grow into full potential.
“Having commemorations of children’s rights only provides a better platform for leaders to take issues concerning children seriously and act on such issues,” he said.
Acting District Social Welfare Officer for Blantyre Chikumbutso Salifu said in 2018, the district registered over 587 cases at the district’s one-stop centre and 90 percent of the cases concerned children.
Salifu said early marriages, rape and defilement were on the increase in the district due to negligence of parents, among other factors.
“Despite various efforts to arrest child-related problems, the district continues to register high rates of rape, defilement and child marriages. The biggest challenge is that parents or guardians seem to have abandoned their role; hence, subjecting children to all sorts of violence,” Salifu explained.
“I would like to use this opportunity to ask communities to protect children and ensure their rights are not violated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the district social welfare has since put in place mechanisms aimed at reducing cases of rape, defilement and early marriages. The sector has also facilitated the establishment of children’s corner and community victim support units.
Every year, African countries celebrate the day of the African Child in memory of children who died in Soweto, South Africa while fighting for their rights.
The day was adopted on June 16, 1991 to honour those who lost their lives for the cause of freedom in South Africa.
By adopting this day as the Day of the African Child, the African Union has drawn attention to the plight all children in Africa.-MANA