Journalists Association Against Aids (Journaids) with funding from Southern Africa Aids Trust (SAT) is developing an Advocacy Strategy in combating early marriages in the country which will run from 2016 to 2018.
JournAids Executive Director, Christopher Bauti said Friday after meeting Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) that there is need for organizations to be unified and have one voice in advocating for combating child marriages.
“Malawi does not have clear strategy to tackle early marriages therefore our organization is developing this strategy as one way of bringing in collective voices from stakeholders including CSO’s so that child marriages are highly tackled,” he said.
He added that his organization’s policy position was that the current law as contained in the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act was contradicting with various international human rights treaties and conventions like the Child Rights Convention (CRC) which stipulates that a child has a right to protection, education and socio-economic participation.
“There is need for the country to review the current law and raise the marriage to 21 an age which assumes the girl is matured because by giving parental consent that allows a girl aged 15 to get married is a serious violation of international law,” he said..
Recently, youths under Plan Malawi and Youth Engagement Advocates (YEA) petitioned Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Ministry of Gender to remove a provisions in the section 22 (7) of the Act that allows boys and girls to marry at the age of 15 but with consent from parents or guardians and at 18 he or she can marry without consent.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :