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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freespch
Guest

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

Tengupenya
Guest

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?

Tengupenya
Guest

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

kwanoxolo sathandwa sam
Guest

mmmmm

Youth League Chairman: Kawale 1 market
Guest
Youth League Chairman: Kawale 1 market
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… Read more »
mohamed
Guest

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

Maliseni
Guest

Thanks Government for living up to your words.

Maliseni
Guest

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.

Charlie Hebdo and Pegida Supporter
Guest

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.

Charlie Hebdo and Pegida Supporter
Guest

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.

wpDiscuz

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