By Salome Gangire
Mzuzu, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has urged district councils in the country to form committees that will be dissolving child marriages in their communities.
Kaliati was speaking Wednesday at Doroba Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) Cooperative in Mzuzu where she toured a milk processing facility.
She advised women who are members of the cooperative to be economically empowered for them to take care of their families without depending on their husbands on every household need.
“When a woman is financially empowered, she can fend for her family thereby reducing incidences of child marriages,” said Kaliati.
She said one of the means to end child marriages is to form a committee that will be dissolving such marriages and send back the children to school when they re-open as is the case in Machinga.
The call comes amid rising cases of child marriages and teenage pregnancies following the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kaliati also emphasised on the need for women role models to be visiting communities to inspire girl learners to remain in school.
“We would want the girls and boys to learn and stay long in school so that once they are through with their education, they can make informed and rightful decisions on when to get married, how many children to have and the type of life they would like to lead,” she said.
The minister warned that government will not hesitate to arrest parents who marry off under aged children.
Earlier, chairperson of the cooperative, Jester Kaluba asked government to connect electricity to the facility as the use of the diesel generated power has proved to be very expensive in running the cooperative.