Oxfam Country Director, Lingalireni Mihowa, has called on traditional leaders in Malawi to end all cultural practices that fuel child marriages.
Mihowa made the call at Zomba Malosa Constituency when Oxfam launched a project that seeks to end child marriages
She said traditional leaders have crucial role to end all factors that trigger child marriages. Mihowa observed that child marriage conflicts with children’s right to education.
She therefore called on parents to encourage children to go to school other than forcing them into early marriage saying early marriage is not a solution to poverty.
The Oxfam Country Director said Social Cash Transfer Programme should reach out to many household to cushion them against poverty which in most cases is said to be a contributing factor to child marriage.
“As Oxfam we appeal to parliamentarians to allocate more resources to the Ministry of Education to enable to ministry to promote girls’ education,” Mihowa added.
Chairperson of Women Parliamentary Caucus in Zimbabwe, Goodlucky Kwaramba, said girls should be accorded all the opportunities to complete their education
She said parents should prioritise education other than marriage for their children.
“Education should come first and marriage should come after attaining good education,” Kwaramba added.
She therefore appealed to girls that dropped out of school due to either pregnancy or early marriage to return to school to fulfill the desire for good education.
In her remarks, Member of Parliament for Zomba Malosa, Grace Kwelepeta appealed to people in her constituency to desist from encouraging child marriages saying this frustrates efforts to promote child education.
She therefore hailed Senior Chief Malemia for formulating and enforcing by-laws that check factors that fuel child marriage in his area.
Oxfam has since handed over ten push bicycles, reading lamps and school bags to two female parliamentarians, Grace Kwelepeta and Zomba Chingale legislature, Lonnie Phiri.
The items are meant to be distributed to ten primary school learners and ten secondary school students in Zomba Malosa and Zomba Chingale respectively.
Apart from Mihowa, Kwaramba, Kwelepeta and Phiri, other women in top positions such as chairperson of parliamentary women caucus in Malawi, Roseby Gadama, Women Legal Resource Center (Wolrec) Executive Director Maggie Kathewera Banda and Deputy Mayor of Zomba City Munira Bakali attended the meeting at Zomba Malosa.
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