Malawi: Marriages Bill- a victory for women and girls

Date: February 13, 2015
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Lilongwe, 13 February: Gender activists are celebrating a victory for women, girls and gender equality in Malawi. Yesterday the country passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family relations Bill that pushes up the legal marriage age from 16 to 18 years.

Emma Kaliya, Chair of the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance as well as the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGOCGN) in Malawi said, “We are very excited as you may already be aware that this bill was long overdue, it received overwhelming support from the majority who decided to move and support the bill. I hope this brings to the end the long protracted struggle that we have well fought for almost a decade. What remains now is popularization after its assertion by the Head of State and Government.”
Child marriages take place in almost all the countries in the SADC region. Child marriage is a violation of human rights whether it happens to a girl or a boy, but it represents perhaps the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls.

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