Thursday, June 13, 2024

Cultural beliefs catalysts to early child marriages – Lawmaker


Some cultural beliefs and norms have been identified as some of the major contributing factors to the escalating figures of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in Masaiti district on the Copperbelt province.

Kafulafuta constituency Member of Parliament, Joseph Kabamba has revealed to ZANIS in Ndola in an interview that besides long distances to schools that discourage many parents to send their children, some cultural norms and practices have contributed to the scourge.

In September 2020, the area was reported as one of those that recorded a spike in early marriages and teenage pregnancies during the COVID 19 lockdown when schools closed for over a term.

Mr. Kabamba said some beliefs that “girls are not for school but marriage” are still having an adverse impact on many families and as such parents still think sending their girl child to school is a sheer waste of time.

The Kafulafuta law maker said his office working with other stakeholders, have, however, continued sensitising communities and parents in particular, on the dangers of marrying off their children.

ZANIS reports Mr. Kabamba has emphasised the need for behavioural change among parents if the scourge is to be defeated in his constituency.

“So the sensitisation has continued and this is something to do with cultural issues and behavioural change and at the end of it you need to appreciate that it’s something that cannot be done overnight but something we need to engage people on until change is attained,” he said.

The law maker said in as much as some people may argue that there is nothing wrong with marriage but it’s something that should be considered at an appropriate age.

Mr. Kabamba added that unless parents and guardians realise the complications that come with early marriages and teenage pregnancies they will not stop subjecting their girl child to early marriages, hence the need to enhance sensitisation campaigns.

And Senior Chief Chiwala said to completely stop the scourge the chiefdom is in a process of abolishing some of the cultural norms that propel many girls to practice unlawful sex.

Senior Chief Chiwala said cultural norms such as initiation ceremonies are still being practiced in some areas and that should be abolished immediately.

Senior Chief Chiwala said despite having a slight reduction in the cases, the chiefdom is working day and night to ensure that the situation is addressed.

He said working with various stakeholders among them women groups, some beliefs are slowly fading away through various sensitisation programmes.

“We have continued with our robust campaign to ensuring that our girls are sensitised on the dangers involved in early marriages and teenage pregnancies. And we are also distancing ourselves from some social norms which expose our girls to sexual matters,” Senior Chief Chiwala said.

Senior Chief Chiwala who is alzo the Chairperson for the Lamba -Lima Royal Council of Chiefs said a lot of illegal marriages are being dissolved and girls being taken back to school.


  1. To a large extent cultural norms are intricately tied to the economic fortunes of a society. Just look at how we have regressed in the last decade or so with very young people believing in witchcraft and all manner of things to “get rich”. So let’s deal with the fundamentals. The culture will evolve seamlessly as was the case a few years before decline and decay set in.

  2. So called ‘child marriages’ are simply child sexual abuses. Child marriage sounds like child prostitute. According to the law, marriage or prostitution is an adult institution. Thus, any minor is not authorized to enter into marriage. To start with, the term “child marriage” suggests that two children get into marriage when in actual fact children do not have authority to contract marriages. The term “child marriage” is also a misnomer because in this illegal union between a female and a male, the child is the female and the adult is the male. The way forward? A combination of interventions. First, compulsory universal education to keep children away from predators. Two, skills training to empower school children. Three, punishment for predators. Four, punishment for guardian or parent…

  3. Please help me understand, which of the two is an abomination, is it early marriage or early pregnancy out of wedlock? How many of these girls fall pregnant in their under age having children without fathers? which number is high is it of those who get married young or who get pregnant young. If teenage pregnancies is higher than those who get married and we as a nation can not control it then let the girls get married. It is better to have a married young girl bring up a child with the child’s father, than children brought up without fathers because the later has much negative effect on the child, the family and the nation at large.

  4. Former beer seller and ex-prostitute who became a catholic nun Credonia Mwerinde murdered 924 cult followers on the orders of Virgin Mary. Credonia Mwerinde’s infamy is that she claimed to hear the voice of Mary – the mother of Jesus Christ – under whose guise she recruited converts and then murdered them through poisoning or blunt force.

    Operating a bar for about 10 years wasn’t enough as Mwerinde’s bar went broke in 1989. Immediately, she converted to Roman Catholicism and claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in a cave just outside village and enlisted the help of two respected local clerics to build her apocalyptic cult.

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