First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has appealed to chiefs in the country to abolish cultural practices which among others fuel child marriages.
She made the appeal at Chisawani Primary School ground in Blantyre during a Women Development Meeting organised to interact with women around Mpemba area.
The First Lady said she is always saddened to learn about girls being forced into marriage under the pretext of preserving culture.
“Girls education is very important. Every country that has educated women has potential to develop, I would, therefore, like to appeal to traditional leaders in the country to stop practicing such cultures as those that hinder girl child education,” she said.
Mutharika also discouraged parents from forcing their children into early marriages, saying forcing children into marriage was constitutionally unacceptable and that it was total infringement on the principles of human rights.
“Parents shouldn’t be enticed with the little support they receive from men who want to marry their daughters. The first thing they need to think about is the future of their children.
“Every child needs decent and independent life, therefore, let us not make bad decisions for our children. Early marriage has a lot of consequences and one of them is complications during child birth,” she said.
Mutharika said she thought of organising the meeting with women because women are the ones who look after their families and talking to them would make a huge difference.