Human rights activist says educated women are vital in development; hence, the need for collective responsibility to educate girls.
Director of Chirimba Women and Children Support Group in Zomba, Chrispine Mtima spoke recently during an interface meeting with government officials, chiefs, teachers and girls from Ngwelero, M’biza and Ntholowa communities.
He said parents, chiefs, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should ensure girls’ education is recognised, protected and implemented with by-laws.
Mtima called for written by-laws for easy adherence by communities and to give chiefs confidence when discharging their duties.
“The benefit of written by-laws is they cannot be easily amended or altered; hence, help advance girls’ education,” he said.
The meeting was funded by the Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (Agali) with the aim of drilling chiefs and other community leaders on the significance of having written by-laws towards girls’ education.
During the meeting, it was also discovered that a number of girls dropout of school due to poverty, lack of role models, traditional beliefs and peer pressure.
Traditional Authority (T/A) M’biza said the meeting opened their eyes on the importance of having written by-laws against verbal directives.
He deplored the idea of imposing a K10 000 fine on girls who fall pregnant while schooling and the same for the impregnator without legal backing.
M’biza said the chief of a village where the impregnator and girl come from are fined a goat as a punishment for failing to control his or her village.
“We have been facing challenges to penalise girls’ abusers. As such, we have seen a lot of girls dropping out of school unchecked. However, laws are effective for checks and balances,” he said.