By Vincent Bwinga
In the quest of promoting the rights of women and girls on Community Managed Women Rights Advocacy Project (CMWRA) being implemented in T/A Nthalire and Mwenewenya in Chitipa District, community structures such as Area development committee, Justice and Peace committee, Women rights groups members, Women groups, Chiefs, Community police, Police, women forums strives to end violence against women and girls in the area. The aforementioned structures held a coordinated meeting in the two T/As to take a leading role in addressing act of violence against women and girls such as battering, sexual violence such as defilement of girls and forced early marriage of girls resulting to a large number of teenager mothers which are rampant in the area.
During the meeting it was observed that despite, several stakeholders working in promoting rights of women in the area but lack of forums where these structures could meet and strategies responsibilities, efforts to end violence were just missing point. Therefore community structures among other resolutions, agreed to reinforce by-laws that were developed in recent years in protecting women and girl’s rights and also they developed a working action plan. It was also resolved that, such meeting will be conducted each and every month so that they can be sharing reports success and challenges from different areas.
Speaking during the meeting Traditional Authority Mwenewenya applauded the gathering as one of the best way to move forward in dealing out with cases of violence against women and girls. The T/A encouraged all structures to take a leading role in reporting all cases of violence to relevant authority and he asked them to be observing monthly meetings where he promised to be available all time these structures will be meeting.
The meeting was attended by 120 members from different community structures in Thumbo, wenya, Nthalire and Chisenga and it was orchestrated by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) through its Community Managed Women Rights Advocacy Project funded by Catholic Agency for Oversea Development (CAFOD)