Evangelical Association of Malawi engages Ntchisi stakeholders to assess regulations to help end child marriage – Malawi Nyasa Times
The Evangelical Association of Malawi, through the Stop Child Marriages Project, this week brought together authorities including MPs, religious leaders, chiefs, councilors and government officials to assess new regulations that would help reduce child marriages in Ntchisi district.
Speaking at the meeting in Mponera on Monday, Dowa Evangelical Association of Malawi Programs Officer Bryer Mlowoka said that despite the project bearing fruit in protecting young girls, there was also a need develop rules that communities can follow to ensure that everyone is responsible for protecting a girl.
“We were in the process of developing regulations that will help protect children, but before giving them to technicians; we decided to engage parliamentarians, religious leaders, government officials, chiefs and councilors to get their input so we could have something solid.
“It was a fruitful meeting where everyone gave input on how the bylaws are supposed to look like and the techs are going from here to put it into legal language so it can be presented to the government,” he said. he declared.
Mlowoka said child marriage negatively impacts the well-being of girls and boys, saying it robs them of the ability to realize key human rights, including their rights to health, education and to be free from physical, mental and sexual violence.
However, he said promoting girls’ education and ending child marriage requires a holistic approach involving all influential men and women.
MP for Ntchisi South, Ulemu Chilapondwa, the regulations that were passed will make a difference as they were also given the opportunity to review, collect and improve where necessary.
“The regulations relate to child marriages, the relationship between a girl and an elderly person, a child marrying another child and the responsibilities of parents towards their children, among other things, all of these regulations put together I think will help protect the children and a little girl because some of the powers have been given to local leaders and some have been given directly to the courts to decide whenever such cases arise.
“As MPs our job is to make sure these regulations are enforced because we can have good regulations but if the enforcement isn’t there they can be rendered useless,” he said. .
Chilapondwa further urged girls to refrain from early marriages and focus on education if their lives are to change for good.
“For a girl to be someone in life, she must go to school, I always believe that if marriage comes before school, school fails but if school comes before marriage, the marriage will always be there. Education first and these other things will follow,” he said.
Ntchisi District Council Chairman Frackson Sefasi thanked the Evangelical Association of Malawi for putting the welfare of the children of Ntchisi at heart and once the whole process is complete the councilors will also ensure that the regulations adopted are respected.
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