Patricia Kalirani
Committed to protection of women and children: Kalirani – Pic by Stanley Makuti

Lilongwe, September 1, 2018: Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has expressed government commitment to continue protecting women’s and Children’s rights in the country.

The portfolio’s Minister, Dr Jean Kalilani (MP) said on Friday at a press briefing in Lilongwe that her ministry was working tirelessly in promoting women’s and children’s rights and for the underprivileged, through diverse programmes.

“My ministry has various interventions aimed at improving the social economic status of women and children with focus on protecting vulnerable groups, including persons with disability,” Kalilani said.

According to the minister, the Gender Ministry has mandate to promote equal participation of Girls and boys, women and men, including older people and persons with disabilities in the country’s national development agenda.

“Some of the programmes that we implement include early childhood development, disability scheme, women empowerment schemes, empowerment of the elderly, social cash transfer and protection of children among others,” she said.

The minister further said her ministry has achieved a milestone in harmonizing the Malawi Constitution with gender-related laws by setting 18 years as marriage age for a person in Malawi.

“This has resulted in the removal of parental consent for marriages of children below 18 years of age,” said Kalirani.

The Ministry of Gender has developed the National Children’s Policy, Social Welfare Policy and the Child Adoption Act, according to Kalirani. She said the documents are about to go to cabinet through Parliament.

“Parliament is committed to discuss issues of children once it starts meeting,” she said.

The minister also disclosed that a girls’ hostel has been constructed at Chilwa and Mpemba reformatory centres to reduce the number of children in prisons.