Women's lack of economic independence causes gender violence in Dowa
In Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa district, the lack of economic independence among women has been identified as a major contributor to gender-based violence, writes Brenard Mwanza.
Malawi-In Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa district, the lack of economic independence among women has been identified as a major contributor to gender-based violence, writes Brenard Mwanza.
Women in the area, such as Salome Abasi, have stated that they struggle to support themselves and their families as their husbands often refuse to take responsibility for their families, and some even take second wives.
"All the men know is to make beer. They even take away the little money we realize from the piece work, leaving us with nothing," Abasi said.
Chrissy Mwale, a mother of two, also shared her experience of how her daughter's lack of economic independence resulted in an early pregnancy, which deprived her of an education.
Mwale and other women in the area feel marginalized as there is no NGO that can help them out of their poverty.
However, the women believe that starting small businesses like restaurants and selling second-hand clothes can help address their economic struggles.
"These businesses may also support us in buying school uniforms for our children, who are mostly sent back due to a lack of uniforms and other necessities," Agatha Njovuyalema said.
Experts warn that Malawi may not achieve middle-income status by 2063 without closing gender gaps and economically empowering women, as stated in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The recent World Bank "Malawi Gender Assessment" report reveals that the low and fragmented allocation of resources continues to hinder efforts to close gender gaps and prevent gender-based violence.
It is crucial that efforts are made to support women in the area of traditional authority Chakhaza and across Malawi to achieve economic independence and gender equality to prevent gender-based violence.