Lilongwe — Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Tuesday disclosed that the country has reduced the prevalence of child marriages from 50 per cent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2017.
The Minister Responsible, Dr Jean Kalirani disclosed this during a press briefing in Lilongwe on the progress made to ending child marriages in the country.
She attributed the eight per cent reduction to legal framework that the country put in place in order to reduce cases of child marriages.
"More girls are now going to school in the country because of strong efforts to end child marriages from 50 percent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2017; harmonization of the Marriage law and the country's Constitution to increase the marriage age to 18 years. Chiefs' By-laws that seek to end child marriages, 2017 National Strategy on ending Child Marriages," Kalirani remarked.
Kalilani also said told the briefing that the country has also made significant progress in raising awareness about Gender Based Violence (GBV).
"The implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat GBV (2016-2021) has increased reporting of GBV cases," the minister added.
Chairperson of Women Caucus in Parliament Dr. Jessy Kabwila who together with the minister attended the Sixty Second Session of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62) held in New
York told the media that the positive strides in addressing matters affecting women is a result of unity that has gone beyond political difference.
"We have shown world that we are able to work, transcending our political colours, we are able to show that the woman question is a development issue and should not be reduced to political football," she stated.
Kabwira viewed that unlike in other countries; men in country are more involved in the quest to end child marriages which has resulted to the reduction of child marriages.
"Men of this country have done a brilliant job because the legislation, we have passed with the involvement of the majority which were men and the chiefs have been promoting awareness activities of ending child marriage were not only meant for female but male too. This speaks of holistic approach," the Chairperson believed.