MACHINGA-(MaraviPost)-Culture of silence and lack of proper information are said to be the main drivers causing the increase of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in Machinga.

Machinga police child protection coordinator, Sergeant Stephano Chiwaya said the district keeps on registering increased cases of GBV because communities have inadequate information on the same.

He said this is why some abused women and girls do not report cases of GBV to relevant institutions.

“Some deep rooted cultural practices prevent women and girls from reporting and naming perpetrators of GBV because they are relations,” Chiwaya said adding, “this is watering down our efforts to deal with the problem.”

He said the culture of silence where women respect their husbands much ought to be looked into seriously if the district is to make strides in this endeavour.

Chiwaya therefore said Machinga police in collaboration with stakeholders would continue with community awareness meetings in the district sensitizing communities about GBV related laws in Malawi.

District Gender and Development Officer for Machinga, Macmillan Magomero concurred with the police saying that archaic cultural practices were some of the challenges the district is grappling with to end GBV.

He said that, “We are sourcing funds to enable us conduct trainings for traditional leaders on the need to abandon some cultural practices that promote GBV. So we will work hand in hand with the police and community leaders to make sure that this malpractice is addressed.”

The district registered 94 cases in 2016 and 102 GBV cases in 2017 representing nine per cent increase.