Malawians girls are posed to benefit from a K578 million media project by Plan International and Norkring meant to provide to protect rights of children from child marriages.

Dubbed ‘18+ Media Projection Ending Child Marriages will be implemented by Timveni Child and Youth Media organisation.

The three-year radio-based project was launched Thursday at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.

Three thematic areas of the project are: increase girl’s knowledge and skills on ending child marriages through functional radio listening clubs established in safe spaces and media advocacy.

Increase girls and communities demand for girl’s education and advance youth and community advocacy engagement on ending harmful practices and promoting access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right s (SRHR) information and services.

Daniel Muchena, country director for Plan International Malawi said:

“We are happy to partner with Norkring and Timveni to heighten our work on ending child marriages in Malawi through the 18 + Media project.

“We have achieved a lot so far but there are still gaps that need intensive lobbying and advocacy both at national level and community levels and this project will go a long way to achieve that.” He said.

Malawi is ranked one of the highest around the world in the child marriages. It is 8th out of the 20 countries to have the highest rates of child marriages and exceeded the 37 percent regional average for sub-Saharan Africa.

According to statistics produced United Nations Child Education Fund in 2017 it is estimate that half of the women aged 20-24 years old in the country are married by the age of 18 years.

The statistics indicate that almost 12 percent of the of the girls are married by the age of 15.

Mulanje district has the highest rate of child marriages and early sexual activity representing an 80 percent of girls reported to have been married by the age of 18 and around 90 percent sexually active before the age of 18.

The project will act as complementary and media campaign to already existing interventions in the district.

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization which works in 71 countries across the world, in Africa, Americas and Asia to advance children’s rights and equality.

Norkring is a provider of digital terrestrial television and radio transmitting in Norway and Belgium.

Source : Kulinji

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