Second Lady Mary Chilima has bemoaned the proliferation of child marriages, saying they are detrimental to the country’s development.
Chilima was speaking in Ntcheu District, where she appreciated World Vision Malawi (WVM)’s anti-child marriage work.
“Early marriages are detrimental to the development of the country because we are robbing girls of the opportunity to grow into productive and responsible citizens. Actually, the future of the country is in the hands of the children,” she said.
Chilima, who is one of the ambassadors in the fight against child marriages, called for collaboration, observing that the problem had negative social and economic consequences.
Worldwide, 15 million girls are getting married before the age of 18.
In Malawi, 46 percent of girls are married before the age of 18 while 9 percent of the girls are married before the age of 15.
WVM Officer-in- Charge Catherine Omenda said traditional and religious leaders, law enforcers and courts had a role to play in addressing the problem of child marriage.
Judge Zione Ntaba, who is also ambassador in the fight against child marriages, said courts stood ready to protect girls and boys from abuse.