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Traditional leaders pushed to enforce anti-GBV by-laws

Mentors of adolescent girls and young women in Mzimba are pleading with traditional leaders to strictly enforce by-laws aimed at curbing all forms of violence.

The plea from the mentors, under Action Aid Malawi’s Spotlight Initiative Project, follows their recent presentation of a petition asking chiefs to spearhead the fight against Gender Based Violence – GBV in Inkosi Mzukuzuku’s area.

Despite various stakeholders creating by-laws to fight GBV targeted at adolescent girls and young women, there is obvious flouting of the same, evident in the continued rise in violent cases.

Statistics from the Community Victim Support Unit show that since January, 35 early marriages and teen pregnancies have been recorded, and there are chances that statistics may surpass the 67 cases recorded in the whole of 2020.

Unsurprisingly, one of the mentors, Rachel Mithi, has described the situation as overwhelming.

While acknowledging violation of the by-laws, Inkosi Mzukuzuku promises to engage with all group village heads to affirm the importance of the regulations.

Meanwhile, Action Aid Malawi Project Officer, Takondwa Moyo, is insisting that the worrying GBV statistics are an indication of progress being made in reporting cases, and hopes that the numbers will soon start to go down.

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