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‘Gender based violence, a global challenge’

TOMASONNIE—The media has a role to raise awareness

United States Department of State Speaker Teresa Tomasonnie has said gender based violence (GBV) is a serious challenge which needs collective effort to address.

Tomasonnie said Malawi and other countries have similar cases of physical violence, sexual harassment and challenges in equal access to employment opportunities.

She was speaking in Mzuzu after training journalists in the Northern Region on how best to write stories on GBV without fueling the malpractice.

However, Tomasonnie said Malawi can only afford to improve fighting cases of GBV if the government and different other stakeholders work together in finding ways of arresting the problem.

“The media has a role to raise awareness on GBV by not only telling stories but also having responsibility of providing solutions to the problem. The media should let people understand how to prevent GBV and also looking at whether the legal system is helping to arrest the problem,” Tomasonnie said.

Nyika Media Club General Secretary, Emmanuel Lawyer, said the country can do better in GBV fight if the media is fully involved in policy formulation so that they are well versed with such issues.

Lawyer commended Tomasonnie for the training, saying it has equipped journalists in the Northern Region with relevant information on crafting stories related to GBV.

Over 25 journalists participated in the training.

A recent Demographic Health Survey highlights that 41 percent of women in the country aged 15 to 49 experience either physical or sexual violence. The study indicates that 96 percent of GBV incidences are perpetrated by men.

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