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Second Lady fuels gender based violence battle

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Patricia Kaliati

Mary Chilima, who is wife to Vice President Saulos Chilima, has urged all women and girls to report to authorities any sex- related Gender Based Violence (GBV) incident happening in higher learning institutions.

She was speaking during a panel discussion held at the Chancellor College in Zomba aimed at raising awareness on the evils of violence against minors, women and girls.

She described as sick alleged acts of ‘sex for grades’ happening in Institutions of higher learning.

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“We have learnt that there are many sexual GBV cases that are not being reported and that the students do not have legal strategic action. We have therefore discussed, highlighted and proposed recommendations on the best way forward. The issue is a reflection, in the wider community, of Malawi and clearly, we have a lot of work to do as a country to address such issues,’’ Chilima said.

She said to move forward, the college’s student body ought to pick from the recommendations and see to it that something is done.

Taking her turn, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, said there has to be primary consideration of children when selecting students to accommodate within colleges.

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Kaliati was responding to concerns that some minors (those below 18 years) from Chancellor College are staying outside campus in Chikanda area, which puts them at risk.

Plan Malawi International Country Director, Phoebe Kasoga, said they are working with government and stakeholders at community level to create a safe environment for girls and women.

She however added that boys have not been left behind in their education programmes.

Other discussants included Chancellor College Professor at Law, Garton Kamchedzera and veteran activist Emma Kaliya of Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre.

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