PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvnagirai’s wife, Elizabeth Macheka, yesterday implored the government to come up with laws that protect the girl child from early marriage and sexual abuse.
Report by Moses Matenga, Staff Reporter
Speaking at the International Day of the Girl Child commemorations organised by the Girl Child Network in Chitungwiza, Macheka blasted rapists and described them as worse than animals. The PM’s wife was the guest speaker at the function.
“Women, it’s our responsibility to keep our children well. It’s inhuman to rape a three-month-old kid,” she said. “I call on the government to take urgent action to end the harmful practice of child marriages, enact and enforce appropriate legislation to increase the minimum age for marriage for girls to 18 and raise public awareness about child marriages as a violation of girls’ human rights.
“We have since seen the rise of women in government, industry, sports and the media.”
Macheka said preventing child marriages would protect girls’ rights and help reduce their risk of abuse, early pregnancies, HIV infection and maternal deaths.
Edna Masanga, the executive director of the Girl Child Network, said cultural and traditional groups should desist from abusing girls under the guise of culture.
“Our girls are not for abuse. I always clash with the justice system that is slow to act on rape cases, but quick to sentence stocktheft offenders,” Masanga said.