Recently Malawi has experienced a surge of both mental health problems and domestic violence towards men and nobody seems to care. We hear the news and pretend that everything is okay. I think there is systemic gender discrimination against men in Malawi.
Did you know 370 people committed suicide from January 2019 to August 2020 translating to about 19 people per month and men constituted about 85%. Roughly, we were losing one man to suicide death every two days.
About two men committed suicide every three days from January to August 2020 accounting for a 57% increment to last year’s number in the same period. Isn’t it a shocker!
As shocking as the statistics are, the ministry of gender thinks the surge in deaths is not worrisome to call for action. Is it because it is the “other” gender that is dying, a gender deemed to be strong by society? One thing that we are forgetting is that the two men dying every three days are someone’s father, son, uncle, and husband. I think there is systemic gender discrimination against men in the way that we perceive and handle gender problems.
Today a Kasungu based man is disfigured and maimed and is now battling for his life in a hospital bed after his wife poured him hot porridge while he was asleep. Domestic violence. We all feel for him because there is physical damage. Do you know that a good number of men are suffering from domestic violence? Men do not come out to complain formally because of the systematic gender discrimination against them in society. The society thinks that reporting such instances is considered as being weak and less manly.
The same systemic gender discrimination against men is also deterring them from an opportunity to express their emotions when tough gets hard. These negative emotions accumulate inside and explode as excessive drinking, anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation.
I pray and fast that the ministry of gender takes a special interest in dealing with these life and death problems affecting men.