Malawi: Government to enact law banning child marriage

| March 9, 2015

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Malawi has taken a huge leap forward for girls’ rights, according to Faiza Jama Mohamed, the director of the Nairobi office of the NGO, Equality Now. The country’s new Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill bars girls from marrying before they turn 18.

Child marriage is common in Malawi. Parents traditionally arrange for their daughters to marry at a young age to maximize their fertility.

Malawi’s new law comes as legal equality for women and girls across Africa is on the rise. Tanzania has committed to end both child marriage and female genital mutilation, while lawmakers in Mozambique recently rejected a penal code which discriminated against women.

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Photo credit: Girls not Brides