Inadequate Funding Chokes Early Marriage Fight

Child rights activist Fred Nyondo has asked government to end the financial constraints choking efforts to end early and forced marriages, as the country ranks 12th in the world with 42% of children getting married before the age of 18.

Nyondo expressed sadness that deep rooted cultural practices and financial constraints continue affecting efforts in curbing the vice in the country.

"The fight is becoming difficult because there are very few limited resources that are committed towards ending child marriages. For example, we do not have front line workers in terms of child protection workers. We have a vibrant judiciary that is doing a great work but is also limited in terms of human capacity," Nyondo said.

Spokesperson for ministry of Gender and Social welfare, Fred Simwaka, has admitted that poor enforcement of laws at all levels and inadequate resources are crippling efforts to eradicate the malpractice in the country.

However, Simwaka indicates that the country is heading the right direction as latest figures show that Malawi has lowered prevalent rate to 38% of girls who are getting married before the age of 18.

"We have so many challenges, a myriad of them. Some of them we talk about limited resources to reach all corners of the country. You know the resource basket is not as big. So, we have to scramble for the same resource basket, we have issues of roads, hospitals, schools, everything demanding the support from the same resource envelope," Simwaka said.

Meanwhile, Simwaka says apart from translating the marriage and gender related laws into vernacular languages, they are also uploading marriage related contents on the internet and sensitizing communities on the importance of education.

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