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Children Can No Longer Marry with Parental Consent

Malawi’s parliament took a historic step towards ending child marriage last week, when it removed from its Constitution a provision allowing children between the ages of 15 and 18 to marry with parental consent. Now, the minimum age of marriage…
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Decision to Redefine Childhood Should Help Deter Child Marriage

Malawi has made a commitment to amend its conflicting laws on the definition of a child, a move that will help in the fight against child marriage. Malawi’s constitution and the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act define a…
A 14-year-old girl holds her baby at her sister’s home in a village in Kanduku, in Malawi’s Mwanza district. She married in September 2013, but her husband chased her away. Her 15-year-old sister, in the background, married when she was 12.
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Governments Should Ensure Respect for Rights of Rural Women

Rojaina and her children used to live in a brick house in a small village in rural Malawi. After a coal mine started operating nearby, she was told to leave her house as the land was needed for mining. Rojaina and her children were given little money to…
Rojaina N., under the tree that served as a shelter for her family and where she and her family lived for a couple of weeks after their relocation due to coal mining operations in Mwabulambo, Karonga district.
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“I feel very sad when I see small girls getting married. They don’t know the hard life that awaits them,” said Danira, who was married at age 14. “I wish I had gone to school. Life could be better for me because I could get a job.” Today, the…
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Nineteen-year-old Elina V. was 15 and in school when her grandmother forced her to marry a 24-year-old man. “I had to look after my husband, do housework, deal with in-laws, and work on the farm,” she told me. “My worst time was when I was pregnant. I had…
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As Malawi celebrates the International Day of the Girl today, will President Peter wa Mutharika do what it takes to better the lives of the country’s girls and women? In his inaugural speech in June, Malawi’s newly elected fifth president set out his…