Panos Institute Southern Africa executive director Lilian Kiefer said child marriages can be prevented through effective programmes, legal and policy interventions in Southern Africa.
Kiefer, a Malawian, made the remarks on Monday during the opening ceremony of a two days media training workshop on ending child marriages in Southern Africa at Protea Hotels in Lusaka, Zambia.
The workshop attracted journalists and human rights activists from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
Kiefer said it is everyone’s responsibility to end child marriages and ensure the girls have a safe childhood for them to be productive citizens in future.
She stressed there is need to advocate for increased political will in order to strengthen programmes and structure for child marriages at community level.
“Ending child marriages is not just the duty of parents. We at Panos believe the media can also bring a change in a society,” she said.
She said the media role in curbing out child marriages is very critical because they unearth stories on child marriages before digesting them to the society for policy makers to take an action.
Kiefer urged journalists to continue making researches on why child marriages still on the rise despite several interventions.
Panos Institute Southern Africa Regional Programme Manager Mamoletsane Khati said the organisation, which is a regional communication for development organisation, through funding from Plan International is implementing a media advocacy campaign in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
She said the media advocacy strategy is aimed at contributing to plan International’s programmes called 18+: Ending Child Marriages in the four countries.
Khati said the programme is based on the premise that the cause, child marriage can be prevented through effective programming, legal and policy interventions.
“The workshop was aimed at mobilising active participation of journalists in addressing the drivers of child marriages in the region which include social, economic, cultural and religious factors that influence norms and behavior’s at the individual, community and social levels.
She said following the training, the media personnel will be to produce articles and programmes that positively bring out the issues that will ensure ending child marriages in the respective countries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :