United Religions Initiative Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa Karen Barensche said this in Lilongwe when the organization launched the “girls not brides” campaign aimed at returning girls to school.
She said her organization believes in equality and that can only be achieved through empowering young girls to continue with their education so that they can ably compete with men.
Barensche adds that as an organization they hope to reach to as many people as possible with the awareness on the issue of promoting girl education.
“URI works under the UN mandate which is a major partner in the national campaign of girls not bride, we believe the use of interface as an intervention on issues to do with empowerment is the way to go if Malawi is to change.”
She then urged stakeholders in the country to work together in promoting girl education saying if girls are not educated it negatively impacts the sustainable development goals.
“We intend to work with all stakeholders in the sector as we realize that if girls are not educated, that directly impacts on the six sustainable development goals among them quality education and health services to all,” she said.
Statistics indicate that 42-percent of girls are getting married before the age of 18 while 9-percent get married before the age of 15 and out of that, 20-30-percent of those die due to birth related complications.
Girls not brides initiative is a global partnership of different organizations committed to end child marriages and enabling girls to fulfill their potential. It is expected that under the partnership members will be able to bring child marriages to an end.