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CHRR Takes Part in Conversation on Child Marriages

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About a month ago, CHRR participated in a 4-day long International Learning Event hosted by the More Than Brides Alliance (MTBA) at the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. The event, dubbed Making the Most of What We Know (MMWWK) took place from the 1st to the 4th of March 2021 in an exciting exchange on the link between child marriages, adolescent girls sexuality and its drivers. Malawi took part alongside other countries within the African and Asian continents via a virtual channel and digital application where they shared experiences, knowledge, map similarities and differences among each other in their fight against child marriages. Countries included Uganda, Mali, Ethiopia, Niger, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), a member of the Malawi SRHR Alliance that CHRR is also part of organized the event with funding from the Dutch government. Institutions also part of the Alliance, such as Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE), Coalition of Women Living with HIV&AIDS (COWLHA) and Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) were also part of the event. Other invitees included the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), NGO-Gender Coordinating Network (NGO-GCN), Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRCC) as well as representation from the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW).

Deputy Director for Child Affairs at the Ministry, Trevor Hamela bemoaned the existence of child marriages in the country but re-emphasized government’s relentless commitment to fighting the malpractice. Malawi operationalized the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act in 2015 and has made significant strides in ending child marriages. Albeit the progress realized, further engagement, collaboration and networking will catapult the intended results. LearnMore

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