MACHINGA (Mana ) —Women Judges Association of Malawi (WOJAM ) have expressed concern with rising cases of rape and defilement in the country.
The grouping has since identified culture and poverty as major factors leading to an increase in Gender Based Violence.
Speaking during an awareness campaign at Ntaja Trading Centre in Machinga on Friday, a member of WOJAN, High Court Judge Zione Ntaba said GBV cases were affecting women and children physically, psychologically and economically.
“I believe there are number of issues which are fuelling cases of rape, defilement and property grabbing. They include culture and poverty in Machinga and Malawi at large,” said Ntaba.
Ntaba noted that many women choose to remain silent when victimized for fear of losing luxuries after divorce.
“We are conducting awareness campaigns in order to sensitize people that courts are there to provide services in terms of justice to them. Most of such people (women and vulnerable people) do not know what to do when one is sexually abused, ” explained Judge Ntaba.
Group Village Headman Mpasuka of the area admitted that some cultural practices like kusasa fumbi, kulowa kufa and men sleeping with their daughters when their spouses fall sick promote sexual abuse.
Mpasuka then pledged to work hand in hand with the Victim Support Unit to abolish such practices and any form of GBV.
WOJAM is a grouping of female Judges aimed at bringing justice to women and vulnerable people. It operates under the theme ‘bringing the law and court to the people’.