Sunday, October 11th: International Day of The Girl Child

October 9, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

Malawi Chief annuls 330 child marriages
In June 2015, Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto annulled 330 customary marriages – of which 175 were girl wives and 155 were boy fathers – in Dedza district, in the Central Region of Malawi. The objective was to encourage these youth to return to school, and continue a healthy childhood.
Bernadetta Matison, 17, was among them. Married at 15, she became pregnant the same year. “I dropped out of school because I got pregnant,” she said. “I’ve seen the evils of getting married at a young age. When I think about it now, I realize that getting married at such a young age isn’t a good thing. At the end of the day, we still lack the things that brought us into the marriage in the first place, like soap and lotion and other basic items. Some even get beaten, which isn’t right.”
Child marriage and pregnancy remain the main causes for their high dropout rates. The many young girls who have left school have few opportunities to earn a living, which leaves them exposed to various forms of gender-based violence. Though there are an equal number of boys and girls in lower grades of Primary School in Malawi, only 45 per cent of girls stay in school past standard eight (8th grade).

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