Photo credit: DFID
Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 15
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 18
* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old.
* According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2016.
Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with approximately 1 in 2 girls married by the age of 18 .
A key challenge to ending child marriage in Malawi is entrenched attitudes that accept the practice. Child marriage is also closely linked to poverty, as often in rural areas girls will be married off very young to improve a family’s financial status. In northern Malawi, kupimbira, or giving a young daughter in marriage as repayment for a debt, is practiced .
Legal age of marriage
In February 2017, Parliament amended the Constitution and raised the age of marriage from 15 (with parental consent) to 18 years old for boys and girls. The President signed the constitutional amendment into law at the end of April 2017.
The move brings the Constitution in line with the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill adopted in February 2015, which set the minimum age of marriage at 18. 
Resolving legal inconsistencies is an important step towards protecting girls from child marriage.
Members In Malawi
- African Network for Protection and Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Malawi
- Amref Health Africa
- Center for Youth Development and Transformation
- Centre for Girls and Interaction (CEGI)
- Centre for Social Concern and Development (CESOCODE)
- Chitani Community Sustainable Development Organization (CHICOSUDO)
- Development Initiative Network
- Family Planning Association of Malawi
- Forum for the Development of Youth with Disabilities (FDYD)
- Foundation for Children’s Rights
- Foundation for Youth Empowerment
- Fountain of Hope
- Girl Rising Malawi
- Girls Empowerment Network (GENET Malawi)
- God Cares Orphan Organisation
- Holy Heart Centre for Abused Women And Children
- Journalists Association against AIDS (JournAIDS)
- Ladder for Rural Development
- Organisation of African Youth
- People Serving Girls at Risk
- Plan International
- Population Management Challenge
- Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)
- Seventeen Active Youth Organization (SAYO)
- Sustainable Rural Community Development Organisation
- Teams Advancing Women in Agriculture (TAWINA)
- Theatre for a Change
- Urunji Child Care Trust
- VSO International
- Women In Development (WID)
- Youth Arm Organisation
- Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy (YCD)
- Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO)
 UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2016
 Human Rights Watch, “I’ve never experienced happiness”: Child marriage in Malawi, 2014
 Girls Not Brides, Malawi: Constitution no longer allows child marriage, 15 February 2017.