child marriage

Govts Urged to Intensify Fight Against Child Marriage

Development partners have urged the Zimbabwean government to be more aggressive in tackling child marriage, which is a serious violation of human rights.

According to Phyllis Mbanje, the country has conflicting legal provisions on the minimum age for marriage and its constitution does not expressly prohibit child marriage, and a number of laws effectively condone it.

Mbanje states that the gaps in the law, extreme poverty, poor access to education, and harmful religious beliefs and social norms fuel child marriage in Zimbabwe.

Our Perfect Wedding: ‘It’s Statutory Rape’

Women’s rights group People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) says it is looking into Mzansi Magic’s reality show showing a man admitting to targeting schoolgirls for sex.

This after pastor Fanie Mkhwanazi revealed on ‘Our Perfect Wedding’ episode that he met his bride-to-be, Bavelile, when she was a 14-year-old school-going teenager.

POWA counselling manager, Itumeleng Moloko, says her organisation viewed Mkhwanazi’s bedding of young girls as statutory rape, adding that, “We have to consult with our legal department and decide on the action.”

NGOs Urged to Engage MPs

Zambia’s Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs (CLAGHRGMCA) has asked non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure members of Parliament (MPs) are engaged in all planning activities when drafting child marriage laws in that country.

Kabwe Central MP, James Kapyanga, points out that, “MPs can also get involved in the fight on ending child marriages, especially in the drafting and discussions of the draft laws instead of waiting for these draft pieces of legislation to come to Parliament”.

Zambia Commended Over Child Marriage

Nobel peace laureate and anti-apartheid icon, Desmond Tutu, is impressed with the remarkable coalition among stakeholders in fighting child marriages in Zambia.

Speaking during the Girls Not Brides, Global Partnership to End Child Marriages press conference, Tutu commended the Zambian government for launching the national campaign to end child marriages.

“It is encouraging to see that Government, civil society, traditional leaders and others in Zambia have recognised that child marriage has a devastating impact on girls and the nation as a whole,” he said.

Zim Court Outlaws Child Marriages

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court outlawed child marriage after two former child brides took the government to court in a ground-breaking case to challenge the practice that is rife in the southern African nation.
 
Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi asked for child marriage to be declared illegal and unconstitutional, saying it is a form of child abuse which trapped girls in lives of poverty and suffering.
 

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