Inspector General of Police George Kainja has said the country is still struggling to eliminate cases of gender-based violence.
Kainja said currently the police are recording an average of over 250 gender-based violence cases a month, a situation he described as worrisome considering that the surge is happening at a time government and other stakeholders are scaling up efforts to curb the vice.
The 250 cases recorded per month translates to 3000 cases annually.
Kainja made the remarks on Friday in Machinga when different stakeholders appreciated works being implemented by different organisations under the Spotlight Initiative, a joint European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) funded programme that is focusing on eliminating violence against women and girls.
“We are receiving reports of these cases daily. However, we are impressed that through intensified awareness campaigns aimed at encouraging people on the dangers of vice, people are coming in the open to report cases of gender-based violence and sexual offences, unlike in the past when people used to shield perpetrators of abuse,” Kainja said.
In her remarks, second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Aisha Adams, challenged civil society institutions, chiefs and other duty bearers to step in sensitising rural communities on gender-based violence related laws.
“As Parliament, we will continue presenting bills and make laws that continue to protect women and children. We have also opened a television station where we are interpreting laws to the rural masses. We will soon launch a radio station to reach out to a wider community,” Adams said.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Young Hong commended government for the interventions it is implementing to curb cases of gender-based violence.
Spotlight Initiative, has helped the termination of 870 child marriages between January to May this year in Machinga district alone.