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 country’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.
“I 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,” she told Nyasa Times, “I don’t want youthful marriages, they must go to school…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 families’ financial situations.