Child marriages worry CSJ
Centre for Solutions Journalism (CSJ) has expressed concern with the increased numbers of child marriages in the country despite having marriage laws in place.
CJS Programmes Advisor, Brian Ligomeka expressed concern Wednesday during a working Luncheon with Members of Parliament (MP) as part of celebrations of Inter1 Women’s Month of March at Sunbird Lilongwe Hotel.
He said child marriages are preventing girl child from finishing both primary and secondary education thereby eroding the country’s future investment.
“Oftentimes, we have noted that child marriages are leading to early pregnancy, exposure to HIV/AIDS, and high risk of maternal mortality,” Ligomeka stated.
He urged MPs to continue spearheading ways and means of ensuring that cases of child marriages are reduced in the country by involving key stakeholders in society such as parents, teachers, religious and traditional leaders.
The Advisor called for a sole search in order to find out the root causes of the increased number of child marriages within constituencies.
He said the girl child needs to be protected by law and that the country’s laws should be put to use once passed in Parliament.
Ligomeka believed that concerted efforts by all stakeholders were required in order to minimize the occurrence of such acts in the communities.
He hailed MPs who promote women and girl-child empowerment through various initiatives.
The Advisor said some MPs sacrifice personal resources to pay fees for needy students including girls
Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Aisha Adams admitted that despite having marriage laws in place cases of child marriages are on the increase and girls are getting married before the age of 18.
She said there must be a missing link on the application of the laws saying it looks like most communities are not aware of the marriage laws hence the increase in cases of child marriages.
“We need to take marriage laws to the communities so that they should have a better understanding and should put to place what they know,” Adams explained.
She said cultural norms and briefs are some of the key issues that are contributing to the increase in child marriages hence the need to have permanent solutions.
The Second Deputy Speaker said the enforcement of marriage laws needs to improve in order to have an impact in reducing child marriages within the communities.