Parents say they have little option but to marry of their young daughters

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    File:Victims of teenage pregnancies pose for a photograph at Chinzili village

    The high number of young girls dropping out of schools due to early pregnancies and early marriages has shocked a Non Governmental Organisation- Charity Centre for Child and Youth Development in Zambia.

    Statistics in most rural parts of Zambia have revealed that some parents prefer marrying off their girl child to taking them to school therefore denying them an opportunity to access education.

    Lufwanyama District on the Copperbelt Province is an example that has seen young girls being pulled out of school to enter marriage as a source of income for their parents.

    It is however shocking that despite hosting one of the Best Boarding Schools in the Province, the school is occupied by those from other towns as the hosts prefer marriage to education.

    A chat with a number of young girls, exposed how some parents have resorted to bad habits of marrying off their children at a tender age for financial gain.

    “I am Nancy (not real names), I had my child when I was 17years old and now I am expecting another. I am married and my husband is a farmer just here.I love him because we stay together. At first I didn’t want to get married but when I failed grade nine exams twice my parents told me to get married.At first I refused and they stopped giving me food that is how I entered into marriage”

    “It was not easy at first especially when I was pregnant, but for now I am managing and my husband is doing well.I would love to go to school but I don’t think I can even manage.I am not the only one married or with a child, we are many in the community if you ask around. It’s not possible for me to leave my marriage for school.My husband or even my parents cannot allow me,” narrated the 19 year mother of one and 6 months pregnant.

    Another 18 year old girl has been forced into marriage immediately after finishing her grade 12 because she has no one to sponsor her tertiary level of education.

    it’s wrong to marry them off but there are no options

     

    Mirriam (not real names) said she has always wanted to become a medical Doctor but her dream has been shuttered because there is no one to sponsor her studies.

    “I only got my results yesterday and here I am being called someone’s wife.I know my results are not very good but I was ready to get back to school and rewrite some subjects where I didn’t do well.I have 26 points and I was planning to reduce them so that I go to college. My parents told me that a man wanted to marry me and had already paid part of the bride price but I refused and went to my aunt’s place but they still came for me and took me to the man. He is a miner and the good part is that he is willing to take me to school after I have the baby. I am managing.It’s been difficult because I was just forced but I have accepted it. The dream of becoming a doctor is long gone.I will do something different when I decide” she told the reporter.

    The two young girls are just among the many girls dropping out of school to get into marriage as a way of pleasing their parents.

    “Surviving here is not easy, you take someone to school and their results are always bad then what can you do? Some of us have spent a lot of money on our children yet we get nothing in return, it’s wrong to marry them off but there are no options.

    Personally my fear was that she may just get pregnant and I would lose out so it’s better someone marries her following procedure.

    Another parent said ‘Most of my children are male ,the girls are too young, No i don’t think of doing that but when they grow older it will also depend on our financial status and their performance in school.’

    Charity Centre for Children and Youth Development Executive Director Alex Bwaluka said it is painful to see how young girls are dropping out of school due to early marriages and pregnancies.

    Mr Bwaluka who has been undertaking activities concerning children in schools is shocked that some parents have resorted to marrying off their children as a source of livelihood.

    “A girl child has fallen victim to bad vices that have seen them get married at very tender age.

    Surprisingly some parents find pride in seeing their children get married early for fear of the falling pregnant. For Northern Western Province Rational leaders have taken the issue very serious and warned that all those engaging in such vices will be punished. We must find a lasting solution to end this because the future of a girl child is under serious threat.” he said.
    The need for concerted efforts to fight the bad vices cannot be over emphasised.

    By Clinton Masumba
    Kitwe.

    26 COMMENTS

    1. +6
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      Now when nez says that things under pf are so bad bad that people are actually marrying off off their children you will call me names. Surely why as a country are we allowing useless rats like lungu to undo all the great works of great men like mwanawasa. Hh Hhhas personally done more for this country through his job creation and business than entire pf. Meanwhile we are paying taxes. Wake up. #impeachlungu

      • +7
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        Given the circumstances, I completely feel for the girls an their families.

        I just wish and hope the would use birth control until a time when they are ready to have children

        Thanks

        BB2014,16

      • +10
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        Raising children in poverty is a sin. If you cannot provide a sustainable future for your children please refrain from procreating.

    2. +6
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      Africans and their usual childish problems of failing to manage and plan their own lives. Remember you reap what sow.

    3. +6
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      Good article! Indeed there are no options to parents from the PF Govt! There is no free education under the PF Govt AND it is the same evil government that is complaining about teen age marriages – so what do they want the parents to do? They can’t have the “cake and eat it” at the same time. The parents who are not getting any help from the Govt of PF thieves should be left alone to take decisions about their families. After all the issue of teen age marriages is far much better than the evil of street kids.

    4. +4
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      It’s better they get married and have children within the marriage circle. Those children will grow up with both parents who will discipline them and become better citizens. That’s a better option than being sexually abused and impregnated by a kawayawayafye or a married Teacher at school. I SUPPORT EARLY MARRIAGES. THEY ARE A BETTER OPTION.

    5. +2
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      God is not stupid. If He wanted a girl to get married at 18, He would have made a girl start her period at 18. Anyone who says girls shouldn’t get married at 14 they’re not on God’s side, Satan is leading you to let these girls get abused, get pregnant, have arbotions, or worse have children with no father’s. Go to any prison in any country you’ll find out that 90% of inmates grew up without a Father. This is the work of the devil. Zambia is a Christian nation we should promote marriage not the other way. Look at homosexuals most of them are from homes without Father’s, that’s the truth. How old was Mary when she had Jesus? 12 years old. How old was Sarah when she got married to Isaac in the Old Testament? 10 years old. Do your research. Otherwise you are on the devil’s side…

      • 0
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        @Lombe

        Zambia may have been declared a christian nation but it’s president, Lungu, is a Satanist. Didn’t you watch him in Addis Ababa flashing Demonic symbols in public?

      • vote

        @Lombe you must a very ignorant person. Just because a girl attains puberty at 14 does not mean she has to get pregnant at that age. Puberty(menstruation) is just the beginning of the reproduction cycle of a woman. At 14 her pelvic bones are not even strong enough to contain childbirth. And don’t compare biblical times with our current times. Can you really imagine a 90 year-old woman conceiving in this day and age?”MUPAMBA”

      • vote

        please please Sarah was never married to Isaac thats the mother of Isaac. Stop misleading people with falsehood

    6. +1
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      ALL I CAN SEE IN THE PICTURE ARE VERY PRETTY AND INTELLIGENT YOUNG MOTHERS WITH BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN WHO ARE ALWAYS LET DOWN BY THE SYSTEM- MAINLY GOVERNMENTS. IF GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY THESE MOTHER WOULD BE HIGHLY EDUCATED AND THEREFORE, PRODUCTIVE AND CONTRIBUTIVE TO THE NATION AND MAKING ZAMBIA A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL. PARENTS ARE RIGHT. PUT IT THIS WAY- THESE MOTHERS ARE FROM THE PARENTS (MOSTLY) WHO WERE MARRIED OFF DUE TO SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. SO, DUE TO THE UN BROKEN POVERTY CHAIN, THESE PARENTS WILL MARRY OFF THOSE BEAUTIFUL BABIE AT THEIR EARLY AGES, TOO. SO, THE GOVERNMENTS SHOULD START BY GIVING OPPORTUNITIES TO THOSE MOTHERS INSTEAD OF CONDEMNING PARENTS FIRST- IF YOU SEE THE LOGIC ABOVE.

      • +2
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        For once you are being intelligent Peter, not the vuvuzela you parrot supporting PF unconditionally.

    7. +1
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      The same government that doesn’t provide free education at primary level want these poor people to go to school, how?

    8. vote

      ndi chimodzi modzi ku malawi vuto limeneli lili paliponse ndithu. kunonso ku malawi ana akazi angokwatiwa adakali ana ang’ono…..this is bad news…..to our nations.

    9. 0
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      Comment:The problem is that people in government are just talking too much over the matter and doing nothing in bringing down the cost of education in the country,everything seems to favour politicians only,tizankala bwanji?

    10. 0
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      Comment:People governing us must know that they don’t own us,we are God’s children thats why they run from one political party to another in trying to avoid the hush living conditions that they impose on us.

    11. vote

      Mr Lombe, Some verses please. You said Mary she was 12 when she had Jesus and Sara was 10 years old ? please send me some vs thankx.

    12. +3
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      NEZ is a rat and a coward breed. Please don’t read his posts. Poor upbringing, you can tell from the insults. I blame the parents.

    13. +1
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      when people do no want to think, they start talking about God. Its OK to believe but its not OK to be lazy and irresponsible. Having children is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. Our country is full of misfits because of continuous bad decisions by our people the idea that ‘ fika isolver’ does not work. Think before you act. Another issue, we should prioritize quality over quantity “Namwishiba ifyo ndelandapo mulibakulu”

    14. +2
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      And who are these men who sleep with such dirty girls? No respectable man will touch such unkempt women with low standards of personal hygeine.

      • +1
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        The men who marry these girls are from the same villages as these girls. Have you ever seen a well-educated man from Town marrying an under-age village girl?

    15. vote

      Sad indeed, and the cycle of poverty continues from uneducated parents to uneducated children and grand children. I concur with bloggers who have suggested that, do not bear children until you are able to provide for them sufficiently.

    Comments are closed.