The Catholic Development Commission [CADECOM], one of the partners for Spotlight Initiative programs, says more women Gender Based Violence [GBV] Survivors are coming in to join women clubs championing for change in behaviours towards Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls [EVAWG] in Dowa district.
The organization said it is happy with the role of women and girls in fighting Gender Based Violence [GBV] in the area of Senior Chief Msakambewa in Dowa saying their efforts have led to more and more women championing for change of behaviors in GBV for the area.
The Ministry of Gender officials visited Chiponda VDC of the area of Senior Chief Msakambewa under the support of Spotlight Initiative to appreciate status of Gender Based Violence [GBV] response and stakeholder coordination towards accelerated efforts to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls [EVAWG] and in all districts targeted by the Spotlight Initiative.
Speaking after the Ministry of Gender officials inspected various displays organized by Titukule Msakambewa women club CADECOMs Project Officer, George Nkhoma, said with the support by the Spotlight Initiative, there is increased women participation in Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls [EVAWG].
Nkhoma said the women club comprising of 43 members are training one another in various skills such as Adult literacy classes, Tailoring, Bakery and Beehive while others are involved in food growing crops using the treddle pump which was provided to them to ensure sustainability of activities in the area.
He said even though the women club is fully established, the women are sailing through a sea of challenges to meet at one place at Chief Msakambewa’s headquarters due to the long distance they are travelling to and fro Msakambewa trading centre and they lack markets for their products.
The officer expressed hope that Spotlight Initiative will continue supporting the women group of the area for it to be a shining example so that other communities can emulate a good example of forming theirs to fight Gender Based Violence [GBV] in their respective areas.
“…Many women have expressed interest to join this women club but they don’t have a big room to accommodate all, we pray that partners can still come in to support these women for the club to achieve its intended outcomes…,’’ said Nkhoma.
But, Nkhoma lamented that Community Development Assistant [CDA] Dalitso Chithodwe, is an intern expressing fears that once her contract with Government ends, the group is likely to lose a mentor and hard-working officer who was readily available to ensure that the women club is registering successes.
Chithodwe assured the Ministry of Gender officials that she is an intern doing volunteerism work with Titukule Msakambewa women club and she will always be there to see to it that all the women have mastered the skills, adding that 16 women from the group are now able to read, write and computing.
In his remarks, Ministry of Gender’s Chief Gender Development Officer, Ronald Phiri, encouraged the women group members to be self–reliant assuring them that the club has a brighter future as evidenced by 16 women who are now able to write, read and compute saying this achievement is not only for the members of this club but the Dowa District Council.
Phiri assured the women club members that the Ministry of Gender is committed to identify potential markets for their products saying good relationship bears good fruits in the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls [EVAWG].
“…We are very impressed with the displays as this is a clear indication that women and girls are championing the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls in the area of Chief Msakambewa…,”he said.
Speaking earlier, a GBV survivor, Caroline Pitala of Chiponda village, said she has benefited a lot from the women’s club the various skills which if she had not joined it she would have remained ignorant expressing hope that the council will establish a suitable market to sell their products for the sustainability of Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls [EVAWG] in the area.
The learning and support visit by the Ministry of Gender officials to Chiponda Village Development Committee Titukule Msakambewa Women Club meeting women and girls victims of Gender Based Violence [GBV] was supported by the Spotlight Initiative with funding from the European Union and United Nations through Citizen Alliance [CA].
By Vincent Gunde