Outlawing Child Marriage Memory Banda

2017 Oslo Freedom Forum
May 23, 2017

When a young girl looks at herself in Malawi, all too often she sees a bride instead of a child. Memory Banda's little sister was 11 years old when she was sent away to be married. After seeing the trauma her sister experienced going through a traditional "sexual initiation camp," Memory decided to speak up. She teamed up with other young people to demand an end to these oppressive rites of passage and raise the legal age for marriage. They eventually succeeded in 2017, driving a grassroots campaign that resulted in a constitutional amendment to raise the legal age of marriage to 18. Memory reminds us that big change is possible, but only when we work together.