Victory: Malawi bans child marriage
This week has been a momentous week for my country and for the girls’ rights movement as Malawi has outlawed child marriage!
I’m ecstatic to share the news with you as this achievement wouldn’t have been possible without your support. And I’m so happy our hard work paid off.
Our campaign to end child marriage in Malawi started off small. It was a grass-roots campaign led by my fellow young campaigners and I who unfortunately know too well the damage child marriage and other acts of violence against girls cause.
People from all across the world listened to stories of my sister, who at just 11 was forced into marriage. I told you, the person who had been my little sister wasn’t my little sister anymore. And you cared.
The campaign grew into a global petition that was backed by 42,000 people. And in August I delivered those signatures to the First Lady of Malawi and demanded the constitution be changed to end child marriage.
I was blown away by how quickly the government responded to our campaign. On Tuesday, parliament agreed in a landslide vote to close a key loophole that was making it easier for children to be forced into marriage.
Changing a country’s constitution is huge. In just four months we’ve done what could take up to several years of campaigning.
Thank you. Because today, I can tell my little sister, we are one step further to ensuring no more girls in Malawi will have to endure what she endured at just 11 years old.
While this is a huge achievement for girls’ rights, we still have so much more to do. Still, 41,000 girls are forced into marriage every day around the world.
As an advocate for the next generation of girls - I promise you something. We will continue to raise our voices and we will refuse to stop working until every act of violence against girls ends.
Can we count on you to help us make change for girls in the future?