Female activists from the Association of Women in Media (AWOME) staged demonstrations in Lilongwe, Blantyre, and Mzuzu on Monday, November 16, to protest against growing incidences of rape, particularly of young children, as well as tougher penalties for perpetrators. AWOME presented a petition to city authorities in each city, calling on authorities to set up a sex offender registry, women's shelters, special courts for sexual crimes, and to overhaul school sex education. The rallies passed off peacefully.
A heightened police presence is to be expected in the vicinity of future demonstrations, with disruptions to transportation and businesses likely.
More than 400 cases of sexual violence were reported to the police in Malawi between April and June 2020.
Those in Malawi are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.