30 December 2016

Malawi: Parents Disown Girls Withdrawn From Marriage in Mzimba

Mzimba — A group of Youths activists known as Activista, under actionaid in Traditional Authority Khosolo in Mzimba have revealed that some parents in the district have disowned their children for going against their will to withdraw from marriages and choose to go back to school.

Programme coordinator for Activista in the area, Emmanuel Kadango, said on Tuesday that the campaign against early marriages in the area is somehow hitting a snag as some parents have disowned their daughters after being withdrawn from marriages.

Kadango said over 3 girls have come to complain to their fellow youths of not being offered support once they withdraw from marriages and go back to school.

"We are on a campaign to mobilize our fellow youths especially those girls who rushed into marriages to go back to school.

"However, we have met resistance by some parents who disown their daughters after being withdrawn from marriages and they send them back to us. In such incidences, we go ahead to meet Chiefs for the area who help us to convince the parents to take back their daughter and send them to school," said Kadango

Kadango said due to lack of support, such girls are failing to go back to school even after they have been successfully withdrawn from early marriages.

He said his group has so far taken a step forward to speak to parents about the importance supporting their girl children in school than marrying them off, with an aim to benefit from dowry.

One of the girls withdrawn from marriages, Magdalene Mbale said she is happy to go back to school even if there are challenges she is experiencing regarding her daily support.

Mbale who has a child says she is determined to achieve her goals because she has learnt the importance of school.

Inkosi Khosolo of the area commended the Youth Activista for their timeless effort to encourage girl children to go to school.

Traditional Authority Khosolo said he will support the Activista to ensure their campaign of bringing girls back to school is achieved.

"Am currently working with Actionaid to see how best we can come up with bi-laws to punish parent who marries off their children at tender age, instead to send them to school," said Khosolo.

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