Child marriage, policy solutions, girls’ rights, marriage law, constitutional amendment


Child marriage is a global epidemic that requires policy-level intervention. After almost ten years of organizing and international pressure, the Re- public of Malawi passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill of 2015, widely known as the “Marriage Act” and the “Constitutional Amendment” of 2017. At the center of both monumental changes were human rights, justice, and violence targeted at the girl child. Although the passing of these two policies was a historical moment in safeguardinggirls’ and women’s rights in Malawi, there is a paucity written on the approaches used to achieve their enactment. Using Stone’s solutions and human rights-based approaches, this paper analyzes the process that led to the passing of these two policy instruments as a positive step towards the Malawi government’s commitment to securing women’s and girls’ rights addressing child marriage. Malawi’s approaches can be important for social work professionals, including child and women’s rights activists, aiming at national-level social policy influence.

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