Traditional leaders and other stakeholders in Malawi’s northern region district of Mzimba have been accused of failing to enforce bylaws which they together with other stakeholders established to check various abuses the girl child is subjected to in the communities which have a negative bearing on their education.
Speaking when she was guest of honour at the international day of the girl child organized in Mzimba organized by Everychild Malawi former Malawi child parliament speaker Cease Gausi said if not enforced the laws are useless on their own
“Though traditional leaders came up with good bylaws to mitigate and prevent abuses and violence against girls , they are still being married off very young a thing that puts them at risk during pregnancy and delivery”, said Gausi
Gausi said most parents in the district use their daughter as pawns to gain wealth inform of dowry when they are married off to well to do men.
“This also means many girls do not go far with education hence they can’t contribute effectively to the development of the country”, observed Gausi.
Admitting the lapse in the enforcement of the bylaws which were formed with the help of non governmental organizatiobs group village headman Maliwa Gama urged his fellow traditional leaders to ensure that the bylaws are working if the district is to see development.
“It’s true that most parents especially in the remote areas of the district are marrying off their daughters to men working in South Africa hoping for support”,said GVH Maliwa Gama.
“Such tendencies may also lead to new infections of the deadly HIV/Aids”,said Gama
Weighing in on the matter Everychild Malawi project coordinator Keston Ndhlovu said the international day of the girl child was set aside by the United Nations to reflect on the girl child and that it falls on 11 October every year.
He said this year day is being commemorated under the theme ’empowering girls in ending the cycle of violence’