Young mothers

Minister of Gender, Elizabeth Phiri, has called for increased efforts in the fight against early marriages in the country and Africa as a whole.

Ms Phiri says there is need for a heightened multi-sectorial approach by all stakeholders to curb the vice.

The Minister has also noted the need for everyone to prioritise activities related to ending child marriages, including places of work.

She was speaking last evening at the reception held to End Child Marriage at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka.

The Minister said the commitment that Zambia has demonstrated towards the fight to ending early marriages can be demonstrated by the recognition of President Edgar Lungu as the African Union Champion on ending child marriages.

She said the Zambian government has played and continues to take a leading role in raising awareness on the matter.

Ms Phiri further said that there is also need to continue embracing traditional leaders and their spouses in order for them to continue with their leadership role in the fight against early marriages among their subjects.

The Minister further commended the UN family and other cooperating partners for the support rendered to the Zambian government in curbing the vice.

And United Nations Resident Coordinator, Coumba Gadio emphasised on the need to ensure that the commitment to combating early marriages is renewed.

Dr. Gadio noted that child marriages represents multiple violations of child rights as it brings an end to schooling, exposes girls to gender based violence, teenage pregnancies and risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS among others.

The UN Resident Coordinator commended the Zambian government’s leadership in seeking to end child marriages.

Meanwhile, Ministry of General Education Permanent Secretary, Jobbicks Kalumba, proposed a 20 year jail sentence for any perpetrator.

Dr. Kalumba noted that child marriages have drastically affected the future of the young generation.

He said his Ministry is working with the Ministry of Gender to ensure that early marriages are curbed especially in rural areas through the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS).

The Permanent Secretary however noted that there is need to aid the office of the DEBS with transport, to enable them effectively fight early marriages in villages.

The ending child marriage steering committee is a committee formulated under the Global Programme to Accelerate Action towards ending child marriage led by UNFPA and UNICEF.

The programme is being implemented in 12 countries in Africa including Zambia.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. trying to end early marriages is like treating cancer with a band aid
    child/early marriages are a symptom of something that’s happening in these rural communities. so like mwine mushi would say. you need to find “loooot cause” of these marriages. stop the lip service. get involved in these communities. politicians only visit the villages when they are campaigning …. have community based events, involve these young adults in productive and forward looking programs that give them hope. it’s because these young adults don’t see anything in their future, they think getting married and starting families will help them when in fact it’s perpetuation the poverty life cycles.
    even chiefs are easily “bought and sold” because they need to survive, so too are those engaged in these…

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    • Ending child marriage at Pamodzi hotel. NGOs earning a living from Children at Pamodzi hotel
      That’s where problem.
      Just need a serious government.

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  2. …..even chiefs are easily “bought and sold” because they need to survive, so too are those engaged in these practices. and btw Zambian folks. it’s ok not to marry and it’s perfectly fine not to want to have children, esp if you can’t afford to take care of the spouse or the children

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  3. Those who are married off have no say and get nothing out of it except pain. There is something wrong with you if you think a child can do anything to stop what parents want out of her. I totally agree. How does a reception at Pamodzi contribute to ending child/forced marriage? It is incredible to see how the behaviour of funding agencies never changes. NGOs work to perpetuate or sustain their goals. To end any child abuse, work with the abusers in the communities. But the agencies keep on funding the same gate keepers who move from one cause to another. At least the First lady is talking to and supporting the right people. Cash transfers have worked to keep children in school. Why not do the same to end girl child marriage?

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  4. Ending AIDS while promoting sex through distribution of condoms is foolishness, trying to end children marriage is the west plan to reduce Africa population needed for development thats why child marriage is heavily funded by the west and any minister or chiefs wants to make money is singing child marriage song stopping from our girls from getting married legally but allowing to prostitute freely you are not even talking about it withdrawing
    our girls from married who are already used to sex in home and allow them to start having sex in the streets
    without any control in the name of education without jobs stopping legal marriages but allowing colleges girls to cohabit freely AFRICA WE ARE USELESS

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