The Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Northern Province has observed that the fight against child marriage has remained widespread because of the absence of some organizations fighting the scourge in remote areas.
YWCA Regional Coordinator Zealot Phiri charged that rural communities still require massive education and sensitization on the vice if they are to be agents of change in their families.
Mr. Phiri noted that traditional practices, ignorance and poverty are some of the major setback towards fighting the vice of child marriages.
He said this is because children in rural areas are perceived as assets of income generation in most families.
Mr. Phiri said the continued rising cases where children are made brides at a tender age is an indication that there are still loopholes which need be addressed in the fight against child marriages.
He said addressing child marriages in remote areas will not only benefit many girls but would also provide the country with an opportunity for harnessing the potential of young people and in turn better their lives.
Mr. Phiri noted that education of the girl child is critical to fighting child marriage, adding that it will also help to reduce teenage pregnancies.
He explained over half the girls who are child brides belong to vulnerable households, a situation which needs to be redressed.
Mr. Phiri further said various campaigns against child marriages coupled with legislative and policy reforms will only yield positive results if the visibility of stakeholders fighting for children’s rights especially in rural communities is enhanced.