Community leaders from the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kaphuka in Dedza district have described dialogue sessions as instrumental in preventing Gender-Based Violence (#GBV).
One community leader, Kennedy Njazi, explained that the sessions provide a platform for people to openly discuss specific issues that fuel violence and unearth critical bottlenecks that perpetuate the status quo. In turn, communities can easily find lasting solutions to the identified factors. Njazi further explained that the dialogue sessions have helped to raise awareness about various forms of #GBV and the dangers of the vice to both individuals and society.
“The increased awareness has stirred community members to speak out against such acts and support survivors of #GBV” added Njazi.
Another community leader, Alinane Kamwendo, highlighted that the approach has been fruitful because of the involvement of men and boys in the dialogue sessions. She observed that involving men in discussions about GBV helps to challenge prevalent gender norms and stereotypes that fuel violence. During one of the dialogue meetings that was held on 16 December, 2023, community members explained that the sessions have also helped to foster a sense of accountability and responsibility towards addressing #GBV.
YONECO trained 60 community cadres from Dedza and Mchinji on how they can facilitate community dialogue sessions on ending #GBV using the Start Awareness Support Action (#SASA!) Approach. The training was conducted under the Action for Teen Mothers and Adolescent Girls Project, which YONECO is implementing in the two districts with support from UNFPA Malawi and #KOICA.