Kaliati ‘excited’ with law raising marriage age: Homosexual remains illegal in Malawi

Malawi outspoken minister for gender, children, disability and social welfare, Patricia Kaliati has expressed excitement with news that President Peter Mutharika has approved a law which lifts the age for marriage from 16 to 18.

Kaliati: Happy

Kaliati: Happy

The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill was ratified by parliament on February 12 and President Mutharika has since has signed it into law recognising marriages between men and women, disappointing gay rights activists.

Some pro-gay activists recently petitioned Mutharika not to approve the bill, saying it still contained unresolved issues, especially those pertaining to gay rights.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Malawi, where most people hold deeply conservative religious and cultural beliefs.

Kaliati said on Wednesday that she was “excited and happy” that the Head of State has assented to the bill, making it a law.

“I welcome this development; my ministry worked hard to have it [the bill] passed in parliament,” said a jovial-sounding Kaliati.

“It is a statement that we are committed to ending child marriages in Malawi,” she asserted.

Kaliati said her ministry will continue with the the fight to end early marriages and keep girls in school.

“The new law will also help the courts hand out stiff penalties to offenders,” she added.

The new law covers a wide range of issues, including giving a widow a share in her husband’s property, ruling out the need for a will.

The law also states that if an underage couple have a child, the boy’s family will be financially responsible for the baby until the couple are able to support themselves and the child.

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Eeeeee koma ndiye kweni mumanga ambiritu!

Hixy Pota

Though crucial this case can be delt with well by looking into both parties strictly, as we can understand the teenagers v their own needs different from those of the elderly. Better reduce the age to bring down the abuse cases.


The constitution renders this law invalid as the constitution still allows 16 year olds to get married with parental consent. just wait for someone to appeal against an injunction or conviction based on this new law.

Boyd Kilembey

Failed state. The LAW does not solve anything. The government should have focussed on the root causes of marriage at 16. I wonder why we think the LAW will solve social problems like these.
Even if the marriage age is raised to 25 or 30 years, this does not address the core reasons why somebody would marry . And by the way what is marriage in malawi? Most people dont “marry” at the DC, it is mostly traditional. How would a traditional marriage become illegal in a court of law?
There is nothing exciting here Akweni. You should do more homework


Akweni slow down on your make up mukuwoneka ngati mwadzipaka plaster ngakhale amati kukalamba ndikufuna mwayenjeza komanso zibangiri kholophethe dzima ring Hmmmm

Personally, the law needs to be explicit and specific. Raising marriage age for girls to 18 whilst it is an improvement to the existing law, it doesn’t go far enough because men will still have sex with under age girls. So raising the age is not the same as stopping having sex with underage girls. Sex with underage girls need to be banned as well, should be made illegal and punishable by imprisonment as is done in western countries. The abuse will continue if we don’t stop men having sex with under age girls. They will have sex with them… Read more »
John Kapito Chibanzi Pakamwa
John Kapito Chibanzi Pakamwa

I want to apologize to aKweni that I have never at any point supported and loved you. Allow me to express my profound love and support you have from me now occasioned from your Honourable’s statement that “Homosexual remains illegal in Malawi”
Long Live Akweni! Agaluwo akagwere uko; umo achulukilamu wina mkumati gay, lesbian; fotseki, zamkutu!


I saw it on Tuesday on MBC-TV during Malawi Police Service TV program sponsored by MTL that the president will sign and i really liked the play and Ministry must use such opportunity to spread such laws.


But do we have birth certificates to exactly know the underage or shall we rely on lying parents? I once allowed a kid to vote just because she was registered as 18 years but all pointers were that she was 14 right there in the South and sure enough elsewhere it’s could be the same.


My prophecy is that more men will die for women wosusuka to get their share.

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