African society (where young girls are often married, because it alleviates the financial hardship of families) increasingly faces early marriages that prove to be detrimental to girls’ success.
This is the case in Malawi where Kachindamoto Theresa, founder of the struggle for women’s and children’s rights, stopped 850 early marriages and sent the girls back to school.
According to a 2012 United Nations study, the majority of girls in Malawi are married before the age of 18, and these early marriages affect Malawi’s development, economic prosperity, and so on. This is whereTheresa’s fight comes in .
Born in Dedza district of Malawi, after 27 years of work in another district, Theresa returned to Dedza to become chief district.
Horrified by the sight of little girls at age twelve, she decided to fight against this practice. “I do not want early marriages,” she told UN Women. “No child should do housework when he is supposed to go to school.”
“I do not want early marriages,” she told UN Women. “No child should do housework when he is supposed to go to school.”
In particular, she ordered 50 officials from her district to enter into an agreement to ban early marriage in Dedza and suspended those who refused to comply with her orders.
Thanks to her 850 early marriages have not been able to see the day since 2016 . She sent girls back to school sometimes paying their registration fees.
But some parents in her district do not agree with her principles of change of mind and law in favor of Malawi women. Theresa is the subject of death threats.
However, her determination remains intact: “Once they have finished their studies, they can be and do what they want,” she said.