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Friday, August 19, 2022

More Young Boys Forced into Marriages in Lilongwe

By Leonard Masauli

Lilongwe, Mana: The Ministry of gender, Community Development and Social Welfare has said there is a new trend in early marriages in the communities of Malawi as parents are now marrying off more boys before they turn the age of 18.

This was revealed over the week end on the sidelines of Day of African Child commemorations organized by Yamba Malawi organization at Chimtolo Village Traditional Authority Khongoni in Lilongwe district.

Director of Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, McKnight Kalanda said there is a new trend in the malpractice of early marriages in Lilongwe, as parents in the district are marrying off more boys before they turn the age of 18.

“We did a survey to detect how many children got married during Covid-19 period and figures were very high in most districts including Lilongwe. Again, the survey was to see how many of the married children were withdrawn from marriages.

“In Lilongwe what we see is that even boys are getting affected. There are more boys that are also being married off before the age of 18. So, this is a new trend which needs to be addressed because previously we used to talk of girls but now it is even more to boys,” said Kalanda.

He said there is need for collaborative efforts especially with community-based organizations, so they integrate child protection issues in their programs, to better address issues of early marriages.

Executive Director for Yamba Malawi, Getrude Kabwazi said her organization is determined to provide support and address the challenges that impede on children.

“This year’s theme on the day of African Child is focusing on eliminating all the practices that impede on the rights of Children and as Yamba Malawi we are also making sure that we provide necessary support and that parents are also taking a responsibility to ensure the children enjoy their rights.

“There are a lot of challenges faced by the children in Malawi ranging from food security, child abuse, education, water and sanitation, so we would like to engage with more communities to make sure the malpractice is dealt with,” said Kabwazi

Councilor for Nyang’amire Ward, Gedeon Masache commended Yamba Malawi for their active role to ensure children’s welfare is prioritized in the area.

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