Anti-child marriages campaign launched

Child marriage protest

ZIMBABWE yesterday launched an anti-child marriages campaign aimed at ending the scourge.

The launch, which is supported by the Swedish embassy, is themed Give Her a Chance and seeks to demystify the causes of child marriages and come up with solutions.

The campaign is a joint initiative of the Population Solutions for Health, Population Services International, the Swedish embassy and the Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development ministry.

Women Affairs ministry director for strategic policy planning, monitoring and evaluation, Vaida Mashangwa, speaking on behalf of Women Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni, said: “This campaign comes at a time when the nation is beginning to realise the gravity and extent of child marriages in Zimbabwe. Child marriages are detrimental to children and lead to domestic violence, health problems, complications during birth and even death among the many challenges these children face.

“While traditions are vital to our country in many ways, we need to uphold positive values of tradition and do away with negative practices. Let us organise ourselves to fight the retrogressive and degrading practices leading to child marriages.”

Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe, Asa Pehrson said the launch would provide opportunities for young girls and women to reach their full potential.

Currently, Zimbabwe is ranked number 41 globally in terms of countries with a high frequency of early marriages.

It is also among 20 countries with high prevalence rates of child marriages in Africa, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

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