Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza has asked government to consider reviewing the marriage age from 18 to 21 years in order for girls to complete university education.
She made the observation Tuesday at her headquarters in Mtakataka when United Nation Women(UNW) delegation visited her area to appreciate HE4SHE initiative being implemented in thearea.
Kachindamoto said that she was aware that the marriage act was recently reviewed by parliamentby amending the marriage from 16 to 18 years saying this is having negative progression for girlchild to continue with her education.
“it has been observed that most of girls when they reach 18, are rushing into getting marriedinstead of continuing with education at university level. My suggestion to government is that the marriage age should be pushed to 21 in order enable the girl child to finish her university education,” she suggested.
Kachindamoto said at the age of 21, a girl could be allowed to make a firm decision about hermarriage and be able to take care of her family.
She expressed worry that most girls are failing to access education due to long distances as a result the area is registering a number of dropouts.
“I wish to appeal to well-wishers to consider constructing girl’s hotels in most community day secondary schools in our area so that the issues of accessibility should be a thing of the past.” Senior Chief pointed out.
She explained that once hostels are provided cases of teen age pregnancies could be reduced since most of the are coming from rented houses where girls lack protection and control.
Kachindamoto mot said her area need a vocational skills centre to enable boys and girls acquired different skills which could enable them to self- reliant.
She said the provision of such facilities could help to reduce an employment levels among the youth in the area.
United Nations Women (UNW) Executive Board President, Ivana Pajevic appealed to parents and guardians to view education as a tool to the development of their children.
She said education plays a very critical role to the upbringing of every child hence the need toprovide them with necessary support.
“There are indeed some challenges parents are facing to provide better quality education for their children but this should not be viewed as set back but as an opportunity to strive for more within their capabilities,” Pajevic explained.
Chairperson of Dedza District Council, Councillor Leonard Selevasi said the council is keen to ensuring that its development plans include programme aim at addressing child marriages.
He said child marriage have negative impact to the development of the districts hence the need to safeguard against it.
Chiefs, religious leaders, community policing members and child protection workers have joined forces to spearhead awareness among communities on the dangers of promoting child marriages in their areas.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :