Girls in Mzimba South East have petitioned chiefs in the area to enforce by-laws to protect them from early marriages.
Presenting the petition to Inkosi Khosolo last week, one of the girls, Kondwani Phiri, said rising cases of child marriages can be reduced if traditional leaders take urgent action to come up with by-laws that will protect them from the malpractice.
She said unending harmful cultural practices such as keeping girls indoors when they reach puberty is one of the problems which lead to early marriages.
Said Phiri: “Parents see the girl child as a source of wealth. They prioritise a boy’s education while the girl is forced into early marriage.”
Traditional Authority (T/A) Khosolo welcomed the petition, saying he will soon summon all chiefs and other education authorities in his area to formulate by-laws to end the malpractice and support the girls.
He further announced a ban on mini-skirts in the area, saying they fuel rape and defilement.
Chizani Zone primary school education adviser, Roselyn Mabaso, said lack of role models affects girls’ motivation in school.