Wednesday, 8 July 2015


From time immemorial the world has been crying foul at the acts of violence against women which seem not to have a death day.
Violence against women as a form of Gender based violence has been defined by the council of Europe as all acts of gender based violence that result in or are likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
From all corners of the earth, a lot of people and organizations have been calling out men to stop violating the rights of women. Men have been told to stop abusing their wives and start loving them as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her as it is said on Ephesians 5:25 (NIV).
However these cries all seem futile.
Men and boys are being told how to tenderly treat women and girls every day, but what are women or girls doing on their own to end violence against themselves?
Apart from the hurting fact that some men change after some years in marriage, looking at the causes of violence in many marriages today, we will see that it occurs because the marriage does not have a strong foundation. Whether the contributions of the wife and husband to the finances are not balanced or the two were not in a healthy relationship before marriage.
For those who are already married, breaking the silence can be one of the first steps of this fight. I would give an example of the 18 year old woman, Linda Phulani of Mchinji district in Malawi who was severely whipped with chains and steel rods by his husband because he thought his wife was cheating. However, the wife said she only went to visit her friend without the consent of her husband. On the other hand, Linda’s father said he had been receiving reports of her daughter’s troubled marriage, but when he sent relatives to check on her she would tell them that she was fine. If Linda had told her relatives the truth in the first place, her case would not have become a public issue as it did. Apart from that the media would not have circulated her nude pictures to show the world the deep cuts she sustained from the fight she had with her husband.
Secondly, for those ladies who are in a relationship which can boldly be defined as abusive, it would be better to take a break, reflect on your life and view the kind future that one can have with a man who has already started slapping or verbally abusing you before living in the same house. Some ladies think that their partners would change with time, but you will see that they have been in that kind relationship for many years but nothing seems to change.
Lastly, Self empowerment. A lot of women are experiencing abuse in marriages today because they are too dependent on their husbands. This makes the husband to have all the authority in the marriage that everything he says is considered right since everything comes from him. I am not against the fact that husbands should be or are the head of the house but as the head cannot stand without the help of the different parts of the body, so a husband cannot stand without the help of his wife. If women those women who are not working would venture into some business to support their marriages financially, abuse which start as a result of lack of financial help from the wife would be reduced. It would be another stepping stone if girls would use the opportunities they have now as young and active people to finish school and become independent.
Women build a strong shield for yourselves and have your say! 


Chief Kachindamoto Ends 330 Child Marriages.

In an effort to encourage girl child education and abolish early marriages in Malawi, Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto of Dedza has recently abolished 330 teenage marriages in her area, sending the couples back to school.

This has come a few months after the government passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family relations bill which among other things restrict girls from getting married before the age of 18.

It was once said, “Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out to get them” and “If you do what you always did you will always get what you always got”.

Action!! Action is what Malawi needs if its desire is to be free of teenage marriages. It is one thing to make a bill that restrict girls and boys to get married before the age of 18 and another for the bill to be acted upon by the youths of Malawi.

If all Chiefs in Malawi would act the way senior Chief Kachindamoto has by abolishing 330 teenage marriages in her area, Malawi would be child marriage free in a few years to come.

Not only has Chief Kachindamoto put an end to these marriages but according to an article written by Malawi News Agency (MANA), the chief has since suspended village heads Galuanenenji, Adiliyani, Kalindiza and Chatawa for giving approval that these teenagers should get married.

As a woman, Senior Chief Kachindamoto has set a good example that women can not only be placed as leaders but can also have and act upon good leadership skills.

As defined by Alan Gleanings, a leader is a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal. Well, Chief Kachindamoto has directly influenced the people in her area and her fellow rulers toward achieving a goal the government of Malawi has set to achieve.

One thing to be learnt, “Action speaks louder than words!”


Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Despite efforts to promote gender equality in Malawian schools, the school dropout rate of girls is still high.

The education Commission of the Catholics Bishop Conference in Malawi released figures indicating that more than 27, 000 girls dropped out of primary school in the country between the year 2010 and 2013 due to early marriages.

In February this year the Progressio ICS- Malawi alumni volunteers held a campaign on promoting girl child education at Nalipiri Primary school in Mulanje, which saw 10 girls dropping out of school because of pregnancies in the last academic year. During its second term this year the school has seen four girls dropping out of school because of pregnancies. Among other things pupils at the school said they end up dropping school because they lack basic needs like soap, exercise books and clothes which parents do not provide for them.

At this point, it left me wondering why it is only girls who are school dropout victims while boys also lack these basic needs. This prompted me to dig deep and find the main causes of this endless battle that is making a lot of girls quit school. Among other things I found that; there are some cultural practices in Malawi which impose constraints on girls primary and secondary education.

The perception that the benefits of education do not always translate into jobs coupled with the rising trend of unemployment have reduced the value of education to girls.

Finally, vulnerability to violence, HIV/AIDS and other diseases are major constraints. Again several Malawian schools have not developed girl-responsive secondary and primary schools that address issues of sexual harassment from teachers and boys.

Thus, it is important that the government should focus on changing cultural practices and other factors that hold back girls empowerment. Thumbs up for the just passed marriage bill that has seen the marriage age being raised from 15 to 18. But my question still remains, What about the tertiary education of these young men and women who are going to follow the marriage age the bill has presented? This is making me agree with some traditional leaders who are saying that the marriage age should be raised to 21 knowing that 18 is the age at which most people finish their secondary school education in Malawi thus still not able to support themselves financially.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


In February this year, the parliament passed the new Malawi Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations
Bill which among other issues listed a number of offences and punishments one will get if he or she commits these offences.

The bill recognized Malawi as a country that has four types of marriages; Civil Marriages, Customary Marriages, Religious Marriages and lastly Marriages by repute or permanent cohabitation which means a couple has not undergone any of the three marriages but are nevertheless regarded as married as explained in part 2.2 of the marriage bill. Marriages validly conducted in another country that is linked to one or both spouses are also recognized in Malawi.

Answering the question that has for sometime now caused controversies in the country, the marriage bill has clearly defined Marriage as a relationship between two people of the opposite sex who are in or want to enter into a marriage defiling homosexual marriages in Malawi.

What is so interesting about this marriage bill is that, if put into action it will help end the cases of gender based violence and bring back home the spouses who have gone astray by forgetting their roles in marriage.

If faithful troubled married people in Malawi will take their time to read, understand and put into action the new rules of marriage, it will empower them and in the process bring back their spouses on track and drag any marriage destroyer to prison.

Some of the offences related to marriage that the bill has created are; A person who has entered into a civil marriage shall commit an offence of bigamy if he or she gets married to more than one spouse. The punishment is a fine of Mk100 000 and 5 years imprisonment. An unmarried person who enters into a civil marriage with a person he or she knows to be already married commits an offence punishable by  a fine of MK100 000 and 12 months imprisonment. A person who pretends to be another person in entering into a marriage or who marries under a false name or description in order to deceive the other spouse shall be guilty of an offence punishable by a fine of MK100 000 and 5 years imprisonment and a person who goes into a marriage ceremony well knowing that the marriage is invalid on any ground, but where the other spouse actually thinks that the marriage is valid commits an offence punishable by a fine of MK100 000 and 5 years imprisonment.

The bill also includes other offences for the third parties which I personally think will put a stop to the many problems in marriage that have been caused by relatives of the married couple. The bill recognizes that it is an offence punishable by a fine of MK100 000 and 12 months imprisonment for a person to use his or her influence as  a close relation to a spouse to cause a breakdown of a marriage relationship between spouses, to prompt any conduct by one or both spouses that can negatively affect their marriage relationship, to cause a spouse to withhold maintenance or support from other spouses and finally to influence a marriage relationship to deteriorate or fall.