‘Protect girls from bad cultural practices’

Girls Empowerment Network (Genet) has asked parents in Mulanje to ensure that cultural practices do not affect girls’ education in the district.

Genet project officer Oyamba Jimjim made the appeal at Chisitu in Mulanje on Wednesday during the closing of a two-day training of child protection committee members.

Cheka (L) listens to a contribution from a participant

Genet and Plan Malawi are carrying out a three-year project called Strengthening Civil Society to End Child Marriages in Eastern and Southern Africa which Plan Germany funded.

“The project aims at ensuring that girls are protected from early marriages and complete their education. This is the reason we are appealing to parents to ensure that they are protected.

“Parents and communities should ensure that cultural practices that can stop girls from completing their education or become pregnant are stopped,” said Jimjim.

An official from Mulanje District Social Welfare Office Paul Cheka said initiation ceremonies such as chinamwali also affect girls’ education.

“When girls come out of the ceremony, they want to try what they were taught and end up being pregnant then drop out of school,” he said.

One of the participants, Eunice Saikonde, said the training has helped her understand various forms of violence, which include physical and emotional.

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