Child advocates cheered the news in April when Malawi, an African nation with one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, raised the minimum age for marriage to 18.
But what about the legions of underage children who were legally wed before the new law took effect?
Last month, one regional chief—a woman— annulled the marriages of more than 300 youth in her district and sent them back to school.
Further, she fired several village heads who had sanctioned the unions.
Malawi’s new Marriage Act still allows children over 16 to marry with parental consent, but human rights activists are pushing to change that.
“Marriage is often the end for girls like me,” Memory Banda, an 18-year-old Malawian, told The Guardian in February. “But if our leaders will invest in us and give us the chance to be educated, we will become women who create a better society for everyone.”
(READ more from Malawi’s Nyasa Times) UN Photo: Emmanuel Tobey
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