Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto intervenes

A better news story, for a change.

A Malawian traditional leader has taken it upon herself to discourage the prevalence of child marriages within her constituency.

Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto annulled over 300 marriages, thereby applying the country’s new laws regarding child marriage. In April, President Peter Mutharika signed into a law a ban on child marriage, setting the minimum age requirement for marriage in the country at 18.

“I have terminated 330 marriages of which 175 were girl-wives and 155 were boy-fathers, I wanted them to go to school and that has worked,” she told Nyasa Times, “I don’t want youthful marriages, they must go to school…no child should be found loitering at home or doing household chores during school time.”

School first, marriage later – it’s a much better way. I could give you a hundred reasons, but maybe all you need is the fact that young girls have small pelvises. Female humans, tragically, go through puberty before their hips are wide enough to allow for birth.

Malawi has one of the highest incidents of child marriage in the world with 1 in 2 girls getting married before the age of 18. The practice is closely linked to poverty where, in the rural areas, girls are married off to improve their families’ financial situations.

But if they stay in school instead, they can ultimately improve their families’ financial situations a lot more.


  1. quixote says

    Just in case anyone wonders how it’s possible for human females to become capable of pregnancy when it’ll kill them. Logically, evolution would have selected against that, in biologists’-speak.

    Our closest chimp relatives become sexually mature around 6 (talking about females), and there’s some genetic evidence that humans retain that programming but it’s suppressed by more recent genetic modifications. Those relate to the evolutionary advantage of neoteny for us, the retention of child-like characteristics far into what would be adulthood. With that retention comes the ability to continue learning, which is a huge deal for us.

    So what happens is that full adulthood of bone structure and the ability of ovaries to produce eggs are mismatched. Theoretically (I don’t believe this has ever been proved) this is why human females alone among primates have hymens. By making initial sex somewhat unpleasant, IF females can control when they start having sex (including freedom from any “be sexy” pressures), they don’t start until the hormones are high enough to make the interest in sex override the initial discomfort.

    Anyway, just thought I’d bring that up. Nature didn’t budget for sexism.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    Too many people prefer the immediate payoff even if it’s smaller than the long-term payoff…a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…or something…

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