Parents should believe in girl child education – Mululi
By Fridah Nkonde-Mubanga
Child, early and forced marriage has significant negative impacts on the future of children, particularly girls.
This harmful practice can expose girls to violence, unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion, with damaging impact on their education, health and economic prospects.
Abigail Mululi, 19, would have been a victim of child marriage if her parents did not believe in girl child education. Her mother, Jane Chibemba Maluli, a mother of five says that she decided not to allow her daughter to experience child marriage just because she fell pregnant in Grade nine (9).
Ms. Mululi explained that she became a beneficially under the Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Power Woman Project because of her daughter Abigail who fell pregnant when she was in Grade nine (9).
“We discovered that she was pregnant before she wrote her Grade nine (9) examinations. When she passed to go to grade 10, she was heavily pregnant so we decided to keep her at home till she delivered. It was very difficult for us as a family because community members especially women were pressuring us to marry her off. Some even said it would be impossible for her to concentrate if she was sent back to school after giving birth,” Ms. Mululi said.
But Ms. Mululi says she was determined not to let her daughter get married because she knew what young girls go through in marriage.
“We didn’t know what to do but we kept her at home until she delivered. The family of the boy that impregnated her was also asking us take her to them so that she could just get married but as parents, we knew that marriage was not a solution. I thank God that I was later introduced to the NGOCC Ending Child Marriage Project under Power Woman. I was interested and requested the Village Committee on Ending Child Marriage to consider my daughter,” said Ms. Mulili.
In January 2018, Abigail was included in the project and NGOCC enrolled her at Bulungu Secondary School. Her school fees were paid by NGOCC, who also gave the family a stove and solar lights to light up their home. Ms. Mululi was also given some solar lights to sell in the community in order for her to start a business.
The family of the boy that impregnated my daughter was also asking us take her to them so that she could just get married but as parents, we knew that marriage was not a solution. I thank God that I was later introduced to the NGOCC Ending Child Marriage Project under Power Woman – Ms. Mululi.