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Girl child abuse rampant—Magistrate

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Despite several interventions by government and non-governmental organisations to secure rights of the girl child, there are revelations that the girl child continues to be subjected to various abuses.

Magistrate George Mbewe of the Mzuzu Child Justice Court has revealed that out of 10 cases registered at the court, seven are about young girls who have been abused.

“Boys mostly come as children in conflict with the law but for the girl child, it is mostly because their rights have been violated. It is either they are victims of defilement or they are not being maintained by their parents or guardians,” Mbewe said.

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He was speaking at the weekend during the International Day of the Girl Child commemoration at Njuyu in Mzimba District.

“It is embedded in our cultural traditions because if you look back, you find that preference in the allocation of resources has for a long time been given to the boy child. Families will always prioritise boys’ education compared to girls mostly if the family is poor. The mindset is that girls will be married but boys will be bread winners hence the preference,” Mbewe said.

He bemoaned some cultural practices that position the boy child as superior to the girl child.

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Mbewe said more needs to be done on awareness if the trend is to be reversed and one of them is to publicise the Child Care Justice and Protection Act.

“This is a 2010 piece of law but perpetrators, parents and the children themselves are still not aware of it including its provisions. They need to be sensitised on what is contained in this new law because people still think that some things that were not considered violations remain as they are, but with the new law they are a cause for prosecution,” Mbewe said.

Community Development Facilitator for Plan Malawi in Mzuzu, Grace Mukula said the organisation’s interventions emphasise on educating the girl child.

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