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Ending child marriage in Malawi

Because I am a Girl

[This petition is now closed]

“In Malawi, boys are told they can become the President, while girls are told they will become a wife. Why can’t I be both?” – Memory, youth campaigner

At Plan International UK we fight every day for a future in which girls and young women can enjoy the same opportunities and have the same ambitions as their brothers. But in Malawi today, half of young women were married as children.

We launched a petition, asking people around the world to stand with the young activists in their campaign to close the loophole in the constitution. More than 42,000 people from around the world stood with the group of campaigners and we're awaiting news of a change to the constitution.

Youth campaigners ending child marriage in Malawi

Youth campaigners

The youth campaigners have made huge progress. Last year a Bill was passed by the Malawian Government that outlawed child marriage.

But the new law is undermined by the country’s constitution, which allows children to be married from 16, with parental consent.

We believe that the most powerful advocates for change are young people. This amazing group have made incredible strides. 

The petition to end child marriage had more than 42,000 signatures

youth advocates' conference

The campaigners organised a conference at the end of August, when they worked with decision-makers and rallied support to amend the constitution.

The First Lady of Malawi attended the conference and Memory handed the petition over to her. The First Lady said, "Today I have seen the power of girls when they stand together to make things happen. As your goodwill ambassador I will work with you." 

We're awaiting news in November as to whether the campaigners will achieve ultimate success in closing the loophole and banning child marriage outright in their country.

Help us end child marriage

join the because I am a girl campaign