Statistics indicate 50 young children under the age of 16 are sexually abused every day in Blantyre district.

This has been revealed in Blantyre during women march against rape and sexual violence organized by Women Doctors Association of Malawi and other women groups in a bid to take stance and unified forces for authorities to take action against the vice.

According to Mpatso Nawena, a Clinical Officer at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, from January to date 563 of defilement cases have been recorded at the one stop centre.

Nawena therefore urged the authorities in Malawi to take strong measures to address the vice through giving stiffer sentences to offenders.

Presenting the petition at civic offices Sibusiso Manda, from Living Hope Network said authorities have been given 90 days ultimatum to address the challenges of rape and defilement that women and girls are facing in Malawi.

Manda also concurred with Nawena on the need for Malawi judicial system to slap perpetrators of sexual violence stiffer penalties to end the malpractice.

Speaking after presenting the petition in Lilongwe, a member of the Women Doctors Association of Malawi Dr Bridget Msolomba Malewezi called on government to expedite the process of eradicating the rise cases of rape and gender based violence against women and girls in the country.

Dr Malewezi said various stake holders need to play a role in ending the vice in the country.

Speaking after receiving the petition, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Rosaline Makhumula, assured the petitioners that government is committed to end the vice in the country by ensuring that the perpetrators are sentenced to stiffer punishments.