The Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare launched 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) on the 25th of November 2020 which runs to the 10th of December. It was announced that Malawi will observe the campaign under the localized theme “Unite to End Gender Based Violence: Prevent, Report, Respond, Fund”. The theme is aimed at prioritizing funding for a package of essential services for GBV, making sure that there is a national zero tolerance policy on GBV and the development of effective response mechanisms for GBV. Activists are requesting that individuals commit to learning more about rape and rape culture, consent and sexist behaviour as well as educating those around us. They are also asking individuals to hold themselves as well as their peers accountable for contributing to the perpetuation of rape culture and slur.
Organisations such as GirlUp Blantyre will have the following activities:
• Addressing psychological GBV on peer chats on Times TV on the 25th of November
• Consent classes #HandsOffCampaign on the 4th of December
• A financial literacy workshop on the 5th of December
• A self-defense workshop on the 12th of December
ActionAid Malawi has introduced the “TOTO Nkhanza” project which is a spotlight initiative whixh focues on “strengthening and mobilizing the power of women, girls, communities and allies to organize and collectively engage in processes that will lead to positive transformation of negative social norms, Health Package (HP) and behaviors which are the structural cause of violence against women and girls and sustain the power imbalance between men and women”
The 16 days of activism are a reflection of the work that individuals have put into making changes in the way that gender-based violence is viewed. It is also a reminder of how much work is still yet to be done in order for there to be a significant decrease and end to the GBV crisis. With everything that Malawian women and girls have been through with regards to GBV it’s definitely a time where more men are being encouraged to take a step back and understand the severity of the actions that are imposed on females around the country.