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Celebrate Solutions: Girl Advocates Fighting Child Marriages in Malawi

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

Malawi is one of the top ten hotspots of child marriage worldwide, with five out of every ten girls married off before the age of 18. This is majorly attributed to strong taboos around child and early marriage practices such as the Kusasa Fumbi practice, in which girls (usually aged 10-12) who have just begun their menstrual cycles  have sex with a man as a way of removing “childhood dust;” Chitomero, another common practice that encourages parents to offer dowry to an older man who agrees to marry their young daughter; and kupimbira, a practice in the northern part of Malawi where a young daughter is married off as repayment for a debt.

These practices expose girls to HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), denying much the chance to finish school and exposing them to higher risks of maternal mortality due to early pregnancies. Child and early marriages violate a girl’s right to education and choice on who and when to get married, perpetuating poverty levels among various communities. Read more...

Girl-centred advocacy could protect 600 million girls from violence

By: Denise Raquel Dunning, AGALI; Originally posted in Guardian's Global Development Professionals Network

At the end of May, 4,500 political leaders and practitioners from 149 countries convened in Malaysia at the Women Deliver conference, which highlighted adolescent girls as the key to advancing the post-2015 development agenda.

Policymakers attending Women Deliver stressed the need to invest in girl-centred advocacy to improve girls' lives and achieve global development goals: "Girls need to be at the centre of the global development agenda. We need both stronger laws to protect girls, and greater political commitment to effective implementation," said the Canadian MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: When ‘B+’ is the Best Option

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny 

MalawiAoife.jpgAn estimated 1.5 million HIV-positive women become pregnant every year. Effective treatment is essential for reducing their chance of severe illness or death during pregnancy as well as reducing the chance of infecting their children with HIV. The best way to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) is to ensure that medication is taken throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding period. PMTCT is an essential component of three Millennium Development Goals: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS. Read more...


 

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