Kaliati engages communities in Chitipa, Karonga districts to terminate child marriages

Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati has urged traditional leaders in Chitipa to terminate child marriages.

Kaliati (L) captured during the meeting in Chitipa

The minister said this during her tour of Chitipa and Karonga districts on Thursday and Friday.

Speaking in Chitipa during a meeting with traditional leaders, Kaliati said chiefs have responsibility to protect children from child marriages.

“Government wants educated people who can make informed decisions and support themselves economically; hence, education is key to achieving this,” she said.

Kaliati also said her ministry is ready to support women and children who face any form of abuse by providing them with lawyers for court lawsuits.

The meeting followed reports that Chitipa has registered 269 child marriages with 37 teen pregnancies since the closure of schools in March.

In his remarks, Chitipa District Council director of administration John Baluti said Traditional Authority (T/A) Nthalire is the most affected area with 80 child marriages followed by T/A Mwenewenya with 63 cases.

He said some traditional leaders have terminated nine marriages.

On social cash transfer programme, Kaliati urged women in Karonga to venture into small-scale businesses.

In his remarks, Paramount Chief Kyungu said the programme was helping families to access social basic amenities.

The chief asked beneficiaries to use the money wisely, including paying school fund for their children.

Tumpale Mwahimba, a mother of six, said the social cash transfer programme has helped her to build a better house.

Karonga has 7 484 social cash transfer beneficiaries.

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3 years ago

This is a very good development, however do you know that child marriges are common in the southern region even worse in Mulanje which is your district of origin? Do you know that people in the Northern districts knows very well the importance of Education than those of the southern region? If the issues of child marriages were reported in those districts, this does not mean they are the worst affected, but people are treating this as a crisis unlike in the southern region where a girl child as young as 12 years are married and tradditional leaders are not… Read more »

3 years ago
Reply to  Chukambiri

What the Minister is doing is commendable without looking at geographical areas. Your observation is true regarding some Districts & Regions. However, child marriages even if there are few in number should be discouraged because even health-wise, our girls are prone to diseases like STIs & cancer

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