Malawi MPs to discuss ending ‘Chidyamakanda’ marriages:  To increase legal age of marriage to 18

Malawi government has said as the National Assembly resumes sitting Monday to review the 2014/15 National Budget, it will table the Marriage Bill to increase  legal marriage age from 14years to 18 in an effort to reduce one of the world’s highest rates of mothers death in childbirth.

Kasaira: Marriage Bill to be tabled

Kasaira: Marriage Bill to be tabled

The government, according to Leader of the House Francis Kasaila, would amend the Marriage Age Bill.

Kasaila, who is also Minister of Transport and Public Works, said after consultations with stakeholders on legal, social, youth and marital issues, the Marriage, Divorce, and Family Relations Bill (Marriage Bill) will be presented before the House.

The bill, among others, proposes to raise the age at which an individual can formally be allowed to marry from 14 to 18 years.

The last time the issue was brought before the House about five years ago, former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, refused to sign a ‘Chidyamakanda’ bill which the legislature had passed on the matter, to rise the marriage age to 16, after a public outcry  for it to be increased to 18.

Health campaigners say that the low legal marriage age is largely responsible for the high numbers of girls getting pregnant in their teenage years, when they are ill-equipped physically and socially to cope.

Premature pregnancy accounted for a quarter of Malawi’s maternal deaths. Early marriage also jeopardizes a girl’s right to education.

In addition, married girls have few social connections, restricted control over resources and little power in their new households and domestic violence is always common in such marriages and abandonment.

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22 thoughts on “Malawi MPs to discuss ending ‘Chidyamakanda’ marriages:  To increase legal age of marriage to 18”

  1. freespch says:

    At least 20 but 18 the girl is still young please.

  2. Tengupenya says:

    But this is a contentious issue. Why fight nature? Once living things are mature to reproduce, let them reproduce naturally and freely. why hinder the social institution for reproduction of humans until later in their life? Are we looking for so called illegitimate children just by delaying marriage beyond puberty?

  3. Tengupenya says:

    We will now cry that it be raised to 21 with parental consent and 25 without parental consent.

  4. Youth League Chairman: Kawale 1 market says:

    Another flawed piece of legislative thinking, utterly detached from the reality on the ground. Most girls in rural Malawi drop out of primary school between standard 5 and 8. After this, it does not take long for them to move into marriage – oftentimes, with parental consent. Our politicians always think “in a box”. A better solution is to tackle the causes of the higher school dropout rates first (sanitation, walking distances to nearest secondary school, etc). By ensuring that the majority of our young girls complete secondary school, this problem will not be there at all! Otherwise, adzingokhalira kukweretsa m’mdzimu akudikira kuti alike zaka 18.

  5. mohamed says:

    Koma choyamba muyenera kukwimitsa chitetezo kuti ana asapezeke atasiya sukulu asanafike zaka 18 ndipo asapezeke olowa m’banja asanafike zaka 18 ndipo ahead master ayenera kukhala ndi udindo wokatsegula mulandu kupolisi mwana akapezeka kuti wasiya sukulu asanafike zaka 18

  6. Maliseni says:

    Thanks Government for living up to your words.

  7. Maliseni says:

    Monitoring will be easy if we raise defilement age as well to 18. This shall mean if you propose a girl aged 18 and below and she accepts, have sex with you that shall amount to defilement. Musician in Zambia was arrested and imprisoned for sleeping with a 16 years old girl. Malawi need stiffer implementation of the law.

  8. How do you monitor this? Go and the girls involved in sexual activities at drinkinking joints eg Siquese Chitawira, New, Chilimba, Bwandilo, Lower Biwi etc. Raise education standards first. This is the problem of looking at a problem at the surface of it. The root causes are ignored.

  9. How do you monitor this? Go and the girls involved in sexual activities at drinkinking joints eg Siquese Chitawura, New, Chilimba, Bwandilo, Lower Biwi etc. Raise education standards first. This is the problem of looking at a problem at the surface of it. The root causes are ignored.

  10. Symon says:

    do not forget to table compulsory education bill also i.e. primary to tertiary.

  11. DO not pass the bill otherwise it will cause unnecessary panic. Yona is right: how shall you control lust in them. Mwanayo adasiya sukulu at ge of ten and you expect her to finish the next eight years staying home! Madness. If you want to promote aids then do so. Promote formal education to keep away children from early marriage.

  12. he we go again says:

    kumeneko ndiye kumpherana ufulu mukuona ngati kusintha zaka kungaasinthe maganizo a mtsikana yemwe akufuna kukwatira. You can force the horse to the river but you can not force it to drink. First thing first lets change their mindset then change marriage, this will change nothing it will only fueling prostitution

  13. Piche Yakiti says:

    Kodi what does the word of God say regarding marriage age??? otherwise, a human being can not control what is contained in a human pant.

  14. I sugest MNN to b 22 MAX 25 in malawi pple comolete sec education @ the ages of 17 , 20. taking college repeating etc one would get the degree around da ages of mid 20s. 18 wu force the the student into marriages just afta sec or b4

  15. Mataka Ghasalu says:

    Sopano lamuo likapangika payenera kukhala chilango chake. We make many Laws but implementation is a problem.

  16. tidyankhalamba says:

    the law should also punish these young girls and boys who also go for older men/women. theyoung girls shou;ld also know that it is a crime to go with the elderly..in that way, they will be fearful otherwise they will be doing it hinking that only the men can be convicted.

    Let the law be there that it is a crimew for a girl of less than 18 to have sex

  17. Yona says:

    Tiana tamasiku ano are fully of explorations, adventures, sexual fantasies and discoveries. Once they start menstruations they become wild, naughty and ungovernable.

    In my view it would have been better to let them go at that age if they think they cannot resist and control their irritating butts. This bill when passed into law will only make them even more sexually wild. If they cannot find what they want they will become vicaous sexual vampires of prostitutes. and in the process even contaminate their male age mates.
    At least for now if they are married the husbands takes care of their lust and since they are under guard they stay in their husbands homes thereby avoiding their male age mates.

    This law will only save to groom more young prostitutes since their lust will not be quenched. As some may agree with me a horny woman is more dangerous than a rabid dog

  18. nuji says:

    Make it 22

  19. ntende says:

    Zimayambanso ndi ma mp nomwenu. Kumakwatira mitala ndi ti ana kumazunza azikazi anu. Shame
    Lamulo limeneli ligwiredi mtchito osayang’anira ndala zili ndi munthu. Amavutika ndi akumuzi poti amaoneka ndi umphawi koma ma town my toatsilana tating’ona ndi mzibambo wankulu.

  20. austin says:

    make it 20 years

  21. BERN says:

    tithandizeni ma mp athu my sister went at 16 some 12 yrs ago zimandiwawa xul inamuvuta banja limangogwedezekanso

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