Rumphi Women Forum, a Non-Governmental Organisation in Rumphi, has challenged girls to take a leading role in protecting their own rights because they are vulnerable to forced and early marriages.
Rumphi Women Forum Women’s Rights Coordinator, Tiwonge Gondwe, made the observation on Wednesday at Tukupalisha Lodge during a two day a training workshop to equip girls with knowledge of Transformative Feminist Leadership.
Gondwe said despite several interventions to promote women and girls’ rights in the country there is still a knowledge gap that needs to be filled among others by changing the mindset of a girl child.
“There are several interventions put in place to safeguard and promote women and girls rights but we believe that when these young girls can understand their rights they will have the potential to do great things in life,” Gondwe observed.
The girls who attended the training were drawn from girls’ clubs in primary schools from the area of Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in the district.
Mary Mkandawire, a Mothers’ group member at Bumba Primary School, commended the organisation for taking this initiative saying this will go a long way in reducing early marriages among girls in the district.
“We believe that the training that these girls have received will assist in reducing early marriages because they will be able to stand up and defend their rights and achieve their goals in life,” Mkandawire explained.
One of the girls who attended the training Takondwa Ng’oma from Chikhwawa Community Day Secondary School commended the organisation for the training saying the knowledge acquired has opened their eyes to brighten their future.
This comes two weeks after the world commemorated the International Children Rights Day which falls on 16 June.
Rumphi Women Forum organised the training with funding from ActionAid.