Senanga District Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Advocate Volunteer, Kapinda Mubita, said families should talk freely about sexual reproductive health with their children for them to be well informed on measures to prevent teenage pregnancies that lead to early marriages.
Mrs. Mubita said that the modern generation should do away with the old traditions of not talking about topics of sex with their children because parents have a critical role to play in their children’s lives.She added that the ending child marriage campaign can include adult mentors.She further stated that certain traditional practices such as initiation ceremonies for girls should be done after girls have completed school as most of the teachings given, lead to young girls engaging in pre-marital sex.
Mrs. Mubita observed that most girls who undergo the initiation ceremony at a young age are likely to have teenage pregnancies and not complete school compared to those that are not subjected to such ceremonies.
Meanwhile Zambia Center for Communication Program (ZCCP) says ending the Child Marriage campaign in Senanga should focus on reasons that lead to early marriages in the district.
Senanga District ZCCP/Kwatu Programs Officer Namate Lyenda said it is important to know why teenagers are engaging in early marriages for the campaign to be effective.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Lyenda stated that the pilot campaign should include women empowerment programmes as the vice is mainly caused by high poverty levels in communities.
He said communities that record early marriages need to understand the law and what it constitutes regarding early marriages because most families consider girls that have reached puberty to be adults hence, they get married at an early age.
Government through the Ministry of Gender in partnership with UNICEF is running a pilot project on ending child marriage campaign in Senanga district in Western Province and Katete district in Eastern province.