Government has urged Traditional Leaders to be vibrant enough in safeguarding the girl child if cases of early marriages are to be a thing of the past in the country.
Chief Director in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Chimwemwe Banda made the call at Chilipa in Mangochi on Wednesday during the official commemoration of the International Day of a Girl Child.
Banda said many Traditional Leaders are reluctant to give penalties to child marriage offenders, a situation that is fuelling the malpractice.
“Traditional Authorities should be on the frontline because they know better what is happening on the ground in their communities,” she said.
Banda added: “they should not entertain any child marriage in their areas and they should exercise their power by bringing to book the wrong doers.”
She disclosed that the ministry is implementing a number of programs and strategies in an effort to combat the problem.
The International Day of the Girl Child falls on 11 October every year with the aim of promoting a girl child.
This year’s commemoration was based on the theme “The power of an adolescent girl: Vision 2030” with special emphasis on ending child marriages.