By-laws keeping girls in class

Date: May 11, 2015
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The feature story titled ‘By-laws keeping girls in class ’ is about intervention of the community especially traditional leaders (chiefs) on the fight against early marriages and their efforts to promote girls education. These chiefs from Mangochi district in Malawi ’s Eastern Region formulated by-laws which they apply on parents who let their girls go into early marriage instead of going to school. Furthermore, the chiefs punish girls and boys who leave school and engage in early marriage. The chiefs order their subjects to pay a goat when they are associated with early marriage.
The story brings out a girl who thought what life meant was getting married. Interestingly, the girl was rescued by members of a ‘Mother Group ’ and she is back in class where she is doing well academically. The Mother Group is part of strategies by Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (Creccom) to end early marriages in Mangochi district and other three districts namely Nsanje, Thyolo and Chikwawa.
According to the story, the by-laws are bringing good results in the promotion of girls ’ education. For example, the by-laws have brought progress in terms of school enrolment at Jiramu primary school in Mangochi district where the girls ’ number has improved from 489 in 2012/2013 academic year to 664 in 2013/2014 academic year. This good development justifies the revelation by Gender Links ’ Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Gender Protocol 2013 barometer which showed that Malawi is one of six countries that have achieved 50 percent or more girls in primary education, as overall performance, since Dakar World Conference on Education for All in 2000.
This feature story is good example of gender in media because is it showing good fruits in the fight against gender inequality in Malawi. The feature story was published at a good time as the SADC countries were coming very closer to the deadline, 2015, in the fight for gender equality in all places including primary school

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