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News and Views: Malawi

After Malawi’s new marriage law: what next to end child marriage?

April 20, 2015

Last week, the Parliament of Malawi adopted a law that, for the very first time, sets the minimum age of marriage from 16 to 18 years old. The Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill has been hailed as a step forward for Malawi, where 50% of girls are married off before 18. Girls Not Brides spoke to Ephraim Chimwaza, Programme Manager at the Centre for Social Concern and Development (CESOCODE) in Malawi, to find out what needs to happen for this new law to make a real difference on child marriage.

Malawi: Street Vendors Lose Customers after Stripping Women Naked

January 25, 2012

LILONGWE - A campaign to stop people buying merchandise from street vendors is gaining momentum in Malawi’s main cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu after the small-scale traders went on a rampage undressing women and girls wearing trousers, leggings, shorts and mini-skirts.

Malawi: Women protest over 'trouser attacks'

January 20, 2012

Hundreds of people have protested in Blantyre in Malawi about attacks on women for wearing trousers.

Some women were this week beaten and stripped by vendors on the streets of the capital, Lilongwe, and Blantyre for not wearing traditional dress.

A BBC reporter says women wore trousers and mini-skirts to the demonstration to show their outrage.

President Bingu wa Mutharika has said on national radio that women had the right to wear what they want.

Widow Cleansing: Harmful Traditional Practice

April 13, 2009

Violence against women still is universal, and while it has many roots, especially in cultural tradition and customs, it is gender inequality that lies at the cross-cultural heart of violent practices. Violence against women is deeply embedded in human history and its universal perpetration through social and cultural norms serves the main purpose of reinforcing male-dominated power structures.

Malawi: Witchcraft Legal Aid in Africa

February 17, 2011


NEW YORK — Accusations of witchcraft in Africa have gained increasing attention because of the severe impact they can have on the lives of those accused, including imprisonment, deprivation of property, banishment from villages and in some cases physical violence.

The human-rights law program I direct recently partnered with an N.G.O. in Malawi to run a mobile legal-aid clinic focusing on witchcraft cases in two rural communities.

Widow "Cleansing" Tradition - Rights Violation

April 13, 2009

Widow cleansing dates back centuries and is practiced for example in countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Congo and Nigeria. It gives a nod to a man from the widow’s village or her husband’s family, usually a brother or close male relative of her late husband, to force her to have sex with him – ostensibly to allow her husband’s spirit to roam free in afterlife.