US pledges to protect Malawian teenage girls

Gertrude Mutharika

The United States Embassy in Malawi has pledged to work together with government in protecting and promoting the lives of adolescent girls and young women in the country.

United States Charge D’Affairs Andrew Herrup made the remarks in Lilongwe during the launch of national strategy for adolescent girls and young women.

In his remarks, Herrup said girls and young women are the people who mostly face challenges such as abuse, violence and discrimination hence need more support to address such challenges.

Herrup says the move will empower girls.

He added that it is important to join hands with government and other stakeholders to improve the welfare of young people in Malawi especially adolescent girls and young women.

“Let me first commend the president of Malawi Peter Mutharika for the efforts made towards the promotion of adolescent girls in the country, by implementing various policies with the aim of improving lives of young women. This   work needs corroborated efforts both from us and the government of Malawi,” he said.

In his remarks, Minister for Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila said government is aware of the problems that girls and young women are facing such as early marriages and forced labour which leads to school dropouts.

Kasaila therefore said that they are committed to changing the negative status of young people and will strive to promote the youths through several programs such as community technical colleges and vocational training.

He then appealed to all stakeholders to cooperate with government towards the successful implementation of the strategy.

Speaking at the same event, youth representative Ackissah Baluti said it is time young girls should be included in meaningful programmes and provided with resources for the betterment of their lives.

Baluti expressed worry about increasing cases of early marriages which put girls at risk of contracting HIV.