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Women in Media protest against spike in rape cases

Female rights campaigners contend that apparent silence by relevant authorities is perpetrating disturbing acts of sexual violence in the country.

It follows a recent surge in rape and defilement cases including that off infanticide involving a two-year-old baby in Blantyre’s Machinjiri Township.

About a week ago, another cased shocked Malawians involving an 11-year-old girl who was brutally defiled with a video of her in pain made to circulate on social media.

On Tuesday morning the Association of Women in Media (AWOME) and other female professionals took to the streets of Blantyre and Lilongwe to protest against the vice.

Delivery of petition at Lilongwe civic offices.

The women journalists stressed that they are tired of writing stories concerning defilement and rape.

They pointed out that nowadays, not a day goes by without such cases being reported on various media platforms.

In Blantyre the march started at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Roundabout, going through the Masauko Chimpembere Highway ending at the Civic Offices where a petition was delivered.

Capital FM’s Nicole Kamwendo (holding placard) and Neema Kandoje (in red t-shirt) joined protesters in Blantyre.

Presenting a petition in Blantyre, organising committee chairperson Edyth Kambalame demanded stern action from the authorities to curb the vice.

“We have been reporting on these issues for a very long time and we have laws in the country that are meant to deter others from committing these crimes and we also have the civil society that has been doing its part but there has been little change,” Kambalame highlighted.

She went on to say that they are tired of just reporting on rape and defilement and there has been no impact on the ground. She further stressed on concerted efforts that will lead to a total elimination of the cases.

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“We want to see an impact and we are hopeful that the government will work towards addressing the challenges that we have pointed out,” she added.

Also weighing present at the demonstration was Madalo Banda who is a representative of the Women Lawyers Association of Malawi-Blantyre Chapter.

In her speech, Banda spoke out strongly against rape and defilement and condemned those perpetrating the vice.

She said, “There is a misconception about defilement in the society, so what is needed is to push for mindset change”.

Statistics from the Malawi Police Service indicate that cases of defilement are on the rise in the country with many of the survivors being defied by people they know.

 

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