Memory Banda

Memory is a Malawian human and girls’ rights activist, a development practitioner, a founder and a leader of Foundation for Girls Leadership (F4GL); a not-for-profit making organization in Malawi working to advance and promote girl’s rights, education, and their active participation towards social change and development. she started her activism at the age of 13 (now 25 years old) after she realized and witnessed so many social injustices and violence against girls and young women in her community. Girls are still married off underage as young as 12 years old, with an alarming rate of teenage pregnancy which has caused the high school drop-out rate in the country. This has increase the illiteracy rate amongst girls and are subjected to different forms of violence, harmful cultural practices, and negative socio norms including stereotype. This experience inspired her between 2013 to 2017 to lead a campaign called “I will Mary When I want” to ask the government to amend its constitution and raise the legal marriage age from 15 to 18 years. Through this campaign she mobilized young people in her country to rise up for change. After years of her advocacy work; the marriage age was changed and raised to 18 in 2015. Her voice contributed massively to this change. In 2017, the constitution was amended to redefine any persons below the age of 18 as a child. This campaign changed the history in her country in girls empowerment model. Memory is fully convinced that an equal world is a better world where no one is left behind. She encourages girls to stand-up and speak out and be bold for change.

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