2 September 2016 Last updated at: 6:30 AM

Malawi’s First Lady inspires girls to pursue education

Malawi First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has urged girls in the country to have the desire to go further with education in order to become responsible citizens who will contribute positively to the country’s development.

Mutharika made the remarks at BICC during official opening of National Girls Conference which is being held under the theme “Be part of the change: Let’s join hands to end child marriages.”

“I want to emphasize that as your Goodwill Ambassador, I take my role seriously and I am very concerned with any issues that affect the girl child in this country,” said Mutharika.

She disclosed that it is her passion to see many girls progressing with their education so that the generation of economically empowered women can be created.

Gertrude Mutharika

Gertrude Mutharika shares a light moment with the girls.

Mutharika said she is aware that some girls are forced by their parents to drop out of school and get married.

“I am aware that some of you are being forced to drop out of school and get married, there are some of you who are walking distances to school and some of you have resorted to self-boarding which has exposed you to numerous challenges,” said Mutharika.

She assured girls in the country that BEAM in conjunction with other development partners like Plan International have joined hands to alleviate these challenges.

“BEAM has embarked on a project to construct girls’ hostels in community day secondary schools and the project is underway in a number of districts across the country,” she said.

Mutharika also revealed that BEAM is providing loans to needy girls in various schools including the girls who dropped out of school due to pregnancies and early marriages.

Speaking at the same function, Plan International Country Director Lilly Omondi said the issue of early marriages is a global challenge and needs efforts to be ended.

“Boys must be at forefront of ending early marriages since the country cannot end child marriages if boys are left out,” Omondi said.

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