MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-Women activists in the country have publicly expressed their anger to the one of the media giants in the country, Times Media Group, for publishing a cartoon deemed to be attacking the modesty of women.
Writing on its twitter handle, Women Lawyers Association (WLA) has publicly condemned the media house for the cartoon which clearly seems to to be encouraging women to expose themselves for sexual attacks.
“We hold media houses to a high standard because in their hands lies the power to change public perception and affect change. It’s disgusting that Times360Malawi would use that power to ridicule victims of rape and perpetuate harmful views on rape,” reads the message of displeasure of the association.
On her Facebook page, one of the female lawyers in Malawi, who is the President for the association, Bernadetta Malunga, wrote her disappointment at the cartoon and further asked questions to the media group as if demanding immediate answers from the same.
“Now Times, if this was a joke then you have a bad taste for humour and don’t deserve to publish news at all. I have seen a number of these silly sentiments but didn’t expect the same to be repeated by a seasoned newspaper.
We at Women Lawyers Association have spent time and resources to mitigate the lifelong trauma the sexual assaults have caused on the women of Msundwe. No amount of money can address the trauma that the women faced and the impact on their lives, children and family.
“The money received is meant to redress some of the financial hardships that the women faced due to the sexual assault and to punish the state for its inaction. Did you know that that some of the women had to relocate due to the stigma and discrimination that they still face at Msundwe. Did you know that some of the women lost business because they are not free to trade as before due to the sexual assaults.
“Did you know that the children who suffered the abuse had to find other schools due to the stigma that they faced at their schools before the rapes. Did you know that all the women and girls had to undergo paid psychiatric treatment due to the rapes. All this needs money.
“And for you to come and joke on this sad and traumatic experience is something that I cant comprehend. Where is the regulator in all this?,” Malunga ranted.
The cartoon, appearing in Saturday 24 July, 2021’s Malawi News, is known as Kanjipiti and has its message in one of the country’s local languages, Chichewa, and it two conversationists, a man and a woman, who are at a drinking joint.
The man is heard encouraging the woman, who is apparently his concubine to make sure she subjects herself to sexual harassment as the episode that took place at Msundwe in Lilongwe in October, 2019 so that she will be compensated. The cartoon literally reads: “Daling’i, kukadzachitikanso zogwiliranagwiranazi udzayesetse, zisadzakuphonye. Ukumva? Taona pano amzathu akubwinyika ma miliyoni. Zandinyasatu!
Meanwhile, Times Media Group has issued a public apology to all the woman in the country for the subjectively attacking publication and has promised to always adhere to its strict code of ethics in the future.