By Leonard Masauli
Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organization (MANASO) through ‘Tikhale Tcheru’ project has engaged traditional leaders in Karonga in the fight against gender- based violence (GBV) amongst women, girls and other vulnerable minority groups in the district.
Speaking Tuesday when she briefed traditional leaders and government officials on the project, Executive Director for MANASO, Grace Massah, said the project focuses on transforming the social and cultural norms that affect women and girls as vulnerable minority groups of the society.
Massah said though government, community members and nongovernmental organizations were doing a lot in discouraging GBV, cultural norms propelled the malpractice in communities.
“We thought of engaging traditional leaders because they are the custodians of culture and are in better position to provide solutions and innovative interventions that would help to eliminate the vice.
“We are also disseminating the HIV Law as an approach towards eliminating stigma and discrimination as well as championing ‘HE-FOR-SHE’ campaign which among other things discourage violence amongst girls and boys in schools,” said Massah, adding that this was to enable access to education, irrespective of gender.
In his remarks, Group Village Head Malema commended MANASO for the project and pledged to mobilise his subjects in support of the project’s goal and objectives.
Earlier, Officer In-charge for Karonga Police, Brenant Chitanda said the law enforces will work in collaboration with the organization to ensure smooth implementation of the project for the benefit of communities in the district.
Chitanda said police will continue with anti-violence sensitization campaigns across the district to ensure that the rights of women, girls and other vulnerable minority groups are respected.
MANASO, with support from United Nations (UN) Women, is implementing a three-year ‘Tikhale Tcheru’ Project, which seeks to eliminate violence against women, girls and vulnerable minority groups in Karonga.-Mana