Plan Malawi Rescues Over 2,000 Girls From Early Marriages

By Ireen Kayira

Plan International Malawi has managed to withdraw over 2,000 girls from early marriages since 1994.

Plan Director for Southern Africa, Charles Businge disclosed the development to Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday when they were celebrating25 years of its existence in the country in Lilongwe.

He said the organisation hasmanaged to rescuemore girls from variousdistricts such as Kasungu, Machinga, Karonga, Mzimba, and Mulanje.

“These girls have been supported to pursue alternative pathways of life. 80 percent of these girls have gone back to formal education and others supported and facilitated to engage in economic empowerment initiatives,” Businge said.

He said the organisation has worked with different stakeholders including chiefs to make sure that they end child marriages.

“We are doing this to shift cultural norms, attitudesand practices and change the way things are done to create equal opportunities for girls,” he said.

He added that Plan Malawi has unveiled four female ambassadors working in male dominated fields to act as role models in the equal rights campaign.,”

The Ambassadors will influence and challenge the patriarchal society end stereotypes that sustain gender inequalities that are often entranced by the media.

He added that they have indirectly worked with over 4.8 million children and young people to ensure that their rights are recognised,protected and fulfilled.

ProgrammeArea Manager, Christopher Katutusaid over the years,Plan International would continue to work with different partners and chiefs to make sure that early marriages are eliminated.

“We want to make sure that we encourage children to go to school because that is the only way we can fight early marriages,” he said.