Christie Banda shares her top recommendations in honour of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Image c/o Christie Banda

Happy  International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women! This observance day marks the beginning of 16 days of activism against gender based violence which is commemorated this year under the theme ‘Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.’ Malawian women’s rights advocate Christie Banda ushers us into this year’s campaign with five recommendations addressing gender based violence.

Christie is an enthusiastic activist against gender-based violence (GBV). She has dedicated her work to empowering survivors and dismantling the structures that perpetuate GBV. As the head of Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE, Malawi), a cornerstone of the Global Spotlight Initiative. Christie has spearheaded initiatives that have transformed the lives of over 1000 survivors of GBV. Leveraging her eight years of experience, she has fostered collaboration among diverse stakeholders, establishing robust referral pathways to ensure that survivors receive comprehensive care. Her unwavering commitment to justice extends to advocating for survivors’ voices to be heard and their perpetrators brought to account.

Please find her recommendations below. Happy reading!

Lomathinda: Rose Chibambo Speaks

By Temwa Lupenga

This is a story of Rose Chibambo, a pioneer of feminism in Malawi. It is a powerful story of her lived experiences with violence as a woman in the political landscape, and her fight for women’s rights that led to the establishment of the Women’s League which worked to promote women’s education and economic empowerment .

Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

By Bell Hooks

I recommend this book because it shows how black women experience multi-dimensional violence in society. In this book, Bell Hook applied intersectionality to feminism by taking a step away from the traditional feminism that centered on the experiences of white, middle-class women, and that excluded the voices and experiences of women of color. Bell expanded to explore unique struggles of black women at the mercy of racism and patriarchy as a recognition of  the diverse experiences among marginalised groups.

The Last Girl

By Nadia Murad

This book provides firsthand accounts of the unimaginable horrors of sexual violence and genocide the Yazizi women and girls faced at the hands of ISIS. The book highlights the importance of international cooperation in dealing with violence against women and girls. It also showcases the evil practices inflicted on women and girls in the name of religion.

The Middle Daughters

By Chika Unigwe

I recommend this book because domestic violence takes centre stage, unravelling its devastating impact on the lives of its victims. Through the intricate dynamics of a seemingly idyllic family, Unigwe masterfully explores the psychological and emotional scars inflicted by abuse, challenging stereotypes and advocating for a world free from violence against women and girls.

We are Displaced
By Malala Yousafzai

This book draws our attention to the disruptions of peace in the community that affect the lives of women and girls disproportionately. It serves a reminder to humanitarian actors of the urgency in intensifying peacebuilding efforts of peace to safeguard women and girls from devastating effects of these disruptions.