Today for the first time in several weeks I bought The Nation, Malawi’s main newspaper. As I was leafing through it an article about legal age for marriage in Malawi caught my eye.
The article talks about the decision of the Malawi Parliament to adjust the legal marriage age from 15 to 16. In some villages it is reported that some girls are given in marriage at the age of 14. It states that the girls of such an early age need to be given a chance to complete their education. “The girl-child just like any other child has the right to education and by allowing her to get married at 16, the commission smothered the universal right.”
I completely agree with the article. Although education is important, there are other more pressing issues the government needs to address. How can a girl of 14, 15, or 16 give birth to a healthy baby? She is almost a child herself. I feel that her chance to be a care-free teenager has been taken away from her.
The author of this article is Ananiya Alick Ponje- a second year student at Chancellor College in Malawi and was printed in The Nation on August 31, 2009.