A Malawian traditional leader has taken it upon herself to discourage the prevalence of child marriages within her constituency.
Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto annulled over 300 marriages, thereby applying the countryâ€™s new laws regarding child marriage. In April, President Peter Mutharika signed into a law a ban on child marriage, setting the minimum age requirement for marriage in the country at 18.
â€śI have terminated 330 marriages of which 175 were girl-wives and 155 were boy-fathers, I wanted them to go to school and that has worked,â€ť she told Nyasa Times, â€śI donâ€™t want youthful marriages, they must go to schoolâ€¦no child should be found loitering at home or doing household chores during school time.
Malawi has one of the highest incidents of child marriage in the world with 1 in 2 girls getting married before the age of 18. The practice is closely linked to poverty where, in the rural areas, girls are married off to improve their familiesâ€™ financial situations.