Matrilineal System Fuels Child Marriages in Phalombe

Mawindo Mawindo - pic by Ronnex Chiwanda

A recent research conducted by Nkhumba Youth Network in Phalombe has revealed that child marriages, gender-based violence and harmful cultural practices are prevalent in matrilineal societies in the district.

The network’s chairperson, Gift Mawindo told Zodiak Online on Saturday that uncles are perpetrating child marriages as they have influence over their clans besides poverty.

Mawindo said research findings will help youth clubs and other relevant authorities responsible for the protection of child rights to find the solutions to the challenges.

“In matrilineal society, uncles decide whether a child should get married or not. So we want to lobby relevant stakeholders to find ways of stopping the trend,” said Mawindo.

He disclosed this during a community dialogue aimed at sharing research findings and identifying ways of curbing child marriages in the area.

Phalombe district council assistant social welfare officer, Beaton Mpilisi, said the council is working with stakeholders sensitizing communities on the dangers of child marriages.

Mpilisi added children have also been reached in their respective schools with messages on how they can report whenever their rights are violated.

Development Communication Trust (DCT) is implementing an initiative dubbed Engaging Youth in Policy Advocacy and Reporting to Address Child marriages, Gender based violence and Harmful cultural practices in Phalombe and Zomba districts with support from UNICEF.

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