Written by  Edith Kayira
The First Lady Madam  Monica Chakwera has reiterated the need for women and girls to be empowered to enable them better their lives.
The First Lady second from left during the ceremony The First Lady second from left during the ceremony
Madam  Chakwera made the remarks on Monday during the commemoration of this year's International Day of the Girl Child in Lilongwe.  
The First Lady said there is a need for people to take a stand against gender-based violence (GBV) and child marriages.
"Women and girls empowerment  is key in ending gender-based violence against women and girls," said Madam Chakwera.
She said women and girls continue to face various forms of abuse which should not be accepted in our society.
The First lady, therefore, stressed the need for stakeholders to create more awareness on gender-based violence and to promote gender equality. 
Speaking earlier,  European Union representative Rune Skinnebach said education is key to ending GBV in the country.
"Women and girls are key agents of development and we have placed emphasis on empowering them," said  Skinnebach.
He said the EU is currently implementing various initiatives to empower women and girls to reach their full potential.  Also speaking during the event,  UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, said it is encouraging to see that Malawi is making progress in ending violence against women and girls.
"People are now aware and they understand the negative impact of violence against women and girls, " said  Torres.
This year's International Day of the Girl Child was commemorated under the theme: 'Digital Generation, Our Generation'.  The day falls  on  11 October annually to reflect on the efforts being made in empowering girls.

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