Malawi has been recommended as exemplary in ending child marriages in the recent African Union (AU) Compendium of Marriage Laws. The recommendation was made at the just ended 4th African Union (AU) High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In the compendium, Malawi is listed among the eighteen countries in Africa who have signed new laws; conducted marriage law reforms; and are proposing new laws putting the minimum age for marriage at 18 years and above for boys and girls.
The Secretary for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr. Esmie Kainja who represented the Minister at the conference said that the Malawi Constitution Amendment that has harmonised the minimum age of marriage to 18 was key in the fight against child marriages.
The meeting which was held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investment in the Youth: Empowering Young Women and Girls,” highlighted the need to eliminate child marriages as one way to achieve the demographic dividend.