By Esther Manduwa
Stakeholders involved in protection of girls' rights have described Covid-19 as a setback in the fight against child marriages.
This was highlighted over the weekend as Malawi joined the global community in celebrating International Day of the Girl Child.
Timveni Child and Youth Media Organization, through its Executive Director Herbert Chidaya, pledged to continue efforts aimed at keeping the girl child in school.
Chidaya said Timveni wants girls voices to be heard by policy holders so that girls are included in all development activities.
On the other hand, Plan International Malawi's Country Director Phoebe Kasoga stressed it is in tough times like these that girl-child empowerment initiatives must stay focused so that girl voices are not muted.
From government’s perspective, Minister of Gender Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati said it is very important to encourage girls to go further with their education even after giving birth.
Kaliati cited government's introduction of social cash transfer program to help parents support their children.
According to girls rights activist Memory Banda, collaboration amongst stakeholders would be in the best interest of the girl child during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year's International Day of the Girl Child is being commemorated under the theme My Voice, Our equal Future.