A YOUTH organisation, My Age Zimbabwe Trust has embarked on a massive exercise of conscientising youths in rural areas on the recent court ruling that outlaws child marriages.
by Jairos Saunyama
My Age Zimbabwe advocacy and communications officer, Tinotenda Kabai, told NewsDay at the weekend that a team of about 30 youths was currently in Chivi, Masvingo conducting awareness campaigns over the issue.
“What we have done so far as is the rolling out of a girl child empowerment project titled Girls Choose in Masvingo province targeting Chivi and parts of Masvingo urban. We are achieving this through community dialogues, minibus dialogues, girls lead training and stakeholder sensitisation, and we have rolled out these initiatives in two districts,” he said.
“About 30 young girls have been trained from different backgrounds and circumstances, equipped with the adequate ammunition to put an end to early and forced marriages. The ambassadors will lead the cause to end the plight of the girl child, who is married young for various reasons, which include economic, social, religious and cultural factors.
”Some of the girls in the rural areas are not even aware of the recent court ruling hence we are trying to reach out to them.”
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba and eight other Constitutional Court (ConCourt) judges recently outlawed child marriages and struck off provisions of Section 22(1) of the Marriage Act, which, for decades, had allowed children under the age of 18 years to formally get married.
The court ruling came at a time when Zimbabwe was rated among the top countries with a high number of child marriages.
My Age Zimbabwe is a youth-led organisation that uses communication modes such as music, drama, social media, spoken word poetry, sporting activities that appeal to young people.
The organisation has seen it necessary to empower and equip the youth with life skills, decision-making, knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, raising awareness on topical issues that concern the young people.