Senior Chief Kachindamoto, a global icon renowned for terminating child marriages in Dedza, has urged fellow traditional leaders to promote girls’ welfare in their jurisdictions.
She made the remarks on Wednesday in Blantyre at the end of a two-day child protection capacity building workshop for chiefs in Mwanza and Neno.
Kachindamoto said chiefs should ban harmful cultural practices that thwart children’s rights for sustainable development.
“Apart from developing child protection by-laws, we have to nullify all sexual initiation ceremonies and furtive practices like kusasa fumbi and kupimbira to curb early pregnancies and child marriages. These vices hinder girls’ right to education and nurture the vicious circle of poverty because of passive communities,” she said.
The senior chief said communities need to cherish girls to be in school, not as brides.
One of the leaders at the meeting, Traditional Authority (T/A) Govati of Mwanza, promised to curb child exploitation practices in his area.
“I want a dazzling future that comes with educating girls. There will be no stone unturned to terminate child marriages and promote liberated environment for children in my area,” he said.
In his remarks, APW monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning officer, Martin Kadaona, said chiefs should emulate Kachindamoto’s drive to eliminate the vice in the country.
“She [Kachindamoto] is an inspiration to every chief geared up in this fight. As custodians of culture, they should encourage best practices of raising children to become proactive citizens,” he said.
The workshop was organised by Save the Children in partnership with Association of Progressive Women (APW) and Community Action for Sustainable Development Organisation (Casdo) with financial support from European Union (EU) under Combating Child Marriages and Human Trafficking project.