* After hosting a delegation from US-based Clooney Foundation for Justice at Kamuzu Palace
* Two months after meeting with its founder, Amal Clooney on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September
By Laison Kamkole
President Lazarus Chakwera has expressed gratitude for the international support Malawi has received regarding gender justice, saying his administration’s goal is to end the practice of child marriages by 2030.
The President made the remarks when he hosted a delegation from US-based Clooney Foundation for Justice at Kamuzu Palace two months after meeting with its founder, Amal Clooney on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
President Chakwera revealed his inspiration from the international support for gender justice is leading him to announce the renewal of Malawi’s goal to end the practice of child marriage by 2030, saying it is ambitious goal but stressed its urgency for the millions of girls in the country.
“This is already a goal too far away,” he said. “We simply cannot accept that by the end of this decade, the practice of marrying underage girls should still exist anywhere within our borders with impunity.
“Even so, I know that reaching this goal will not happen without a concerted effort from all stakeholders,” said the President, while committing that his administration is set to review all existing laws to ensure harmonization with the constitutional legal age of marriage.
He tasked the Minister of Justice with facilitating the tabling of this matter in Parliament during the first sitting of the House in 2024, while emphasizing the need to incorporate the regional SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage into the national strategy.
He directed the Ministry of Gender and other relevant public institutions to ensure its seamless integration.
The President also underscored the importance of adequate funding for the implementation of the national strategy to end child marriage and assigned this responsibility to the Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, stressing the significance of the collective effort to safeguard the future of the nation.
According to its website, the Clooney Foundation for Justice advocates for justice through accountability for human rights abuses around the world and seek justice for victims of unfair trials.