In Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, women were once forced to marry and bear children as soon as they hit puberty. Thanks to the efforts of Memory Banda, laws have been passed to prevent such a traumatic reality from being forced upon young girls. Banda recounts the story of her sister, aged sixteen, who now has three children. At just eleven years old, she was taken to what they call “initiation camps,” where she became pregnant. Banda, however, refused this right of passage. She faced ridicule and criticism from her family and peers for that choice. Yet she not only insisted upon a better future for herself, she took action that led to the legal age of marriage in Malawi being increased from fifteen to eighteen years of age.“I know that together, we can transform the legal, the cultural, and the political framework that denies girls of their rights”. Watch this most inspirational TED talk to learn the details of how she did it.
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