Woman at a radio station (Photo by Jeroen van Loon)

Malawi: Chief Kachindamoto annuls over 300 child marriages

Malawian Chief Mrs. Kachindamoto featured prominently in the media as she annulled over 300 child marriages. The traditional leader applied a new law which forbids marriage before girls are 18 and sent the girls back to school.

Chief Kindamoto MalawiViolation of children’s rights

Rutgers and partners of the SRHR alliance work together to end forced and early marriages. These marriages are a gross violation of children’s rights with serious implications for the sexual and reproductive health of young women and girls.

In Malawi half of  the girls are married before the age of 18. In Central-Malawi, the number is even closer to sixty percent. Rutgers praised the Malawian parliament when it adopted the new law in february 2015.

Now girls have to be 18 in stead of 15. An important result to counteract child marriage.

Rutgers’ role

In the holistic approach of Rutgers local communities are involved in preventing child marriages. In collaboration with local partners, Rutgers facilitates training sessions, workshops and meetings  for traditional leaders about sexual and reproductive health and rights, including preventing child marriage.

Chief Kachindamoto is an influential leader and has been a partner of Rutgers since 2007. Aside from annulling the marriages she also fired chiefs who have given permission to child marriages. Hopefully she is an inspiration for other leaders in Malawi. 

As of 2016 we are working together in a new strategic partnership called  Yes I Do. This is an alliance of five Dutch-based organisations that strives for a future in which girls (and their communities, and nations) are no longer subjected to the debilitating and poverty-inducing impacts of child marriage, female genital mutilation, and unwanted teenage pregnancies. 

Read also: thisisafrica.me