By Lusayo Kanyika
An Afrobarometer Round Nine Survey for Malawi has revealed that the country is not doing enough in safeguarding children’s rights in both rural and urban areas.
According to a summary of Round 9 results released on Tuesday 30th August 2022, most Malawians feel that children who are abused, mistreated or neglected do not get help from the community around them.
The survey revealed that 32.6 % of people in urban areas and 43.5 % of people in rural areas believe people in the community are not able to get help for children who are abused, mistreated or neglected. 31.6 % of the population from peri-urban areas have the same views. The majority of people that have these opinions are women. Children face a lot of abuses in the communities predominantly defilement, physical abuse and child neglect.
Over 70 % of both urban and rural communities believe parents are never justified to use physical force to discipline their children.
The survey has also revealed that children who have a physical disability are generally not able to get the support they need to succeed in life.
The same fate also befalls children that have mental or emotional problems especially in the rural areas.
On a positive note, the survey has revealed that domestic violence is a criminal matter which needs to be dealt with by law enforcement agencies.
However, just under 5% of Malawians in both urban and rural set-ups believe domestic violence is a private matter that needs to be resolved within the family.
The majority of Malawians also believe that a victim of gender-based violence who has reported a rape or physical abuse by her husband will unlikely be criticized, harassed, or shamed by others in the community.
Shockingly, 25 % of urban dwellers believe the victim can be scorned by the community while just only 16 % of people in the rural communities think so.
In other areas, the report shows that women and men have equal opportunities for jobs and land ownership.
Malawians also view failure to manage the economy as the major challenge the country is facing, downplaying corruption, unemployment or health issues.
On the political front the Majority of respondents said they belong to the Democratic Progressive Party. 24 % of these are in urban areas while 29 % are in rural areas.
The Malawi Congress Party is second with 16 % following in urban areas and 23 % in rural areas.
Afrobarometer surveys have been conducted in over 39 countries since 1999 through face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationality representative samples. Afrobarometer partner in Malawi, the Centre for Social Research, interviewed a nationally representative, random and stratified probability sample of 1,200 adult Malawians between 14 and 24 February 2022.