African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has called for the abolishment of a law that allows for 16-year-old to be married subject to a written consent by a parent.
In Zambia, the Marriage Act sets the legal minimum age of marriage at 21 years but a child can marry from the age of 16 with written consent from their legal guardian.
But Ms Gumbonzvanda says there is a need to have a law that protects the girl children.
The AU Goodwill Ambassador for Campaign to End Child Marriage says if the law is amended, it will protect children from the vice.
Speaking in Lusaka today during a stakeholder meeting organized by the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Africa Trust (SAT), Ms Gumbonzvanda said the law needs to change to harmonize with African Union commitment which has set the legal age for marriage at 18.
And speaking at the same event, House of Chiefs Chairperson, Chief Chikwanda said there is a need to bring an end to traditional practices that promote children to be victim to vices such as early child marriage and teenage pregnancies.
Chief Chikwanda said cultural practices have greatly contributed towards societal vices that violate the rights of children.
The traditional leader also urged stakeholders to sensitize parents on the need to always get birth registration documentation for their children, saying the lack of this poses a challenge when prosecuting cases of child abuse.
“There is need to sensitize the parents on the importance of birth registration. We have had challenges normally when it comes to establishing the age of the child if there is a problem. When you take to court, the parents fail to produce birth certification certificates,” the traditional leader observed
And Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Africa Trust (SAT) Country Director Lenganji Nanyangwe said children need to have conversations with their parent about reproductive health.
Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) President David Masupa said the church needs to strongly support the fight against child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
Devils people want girls to be getting pregnant and having abortions instead of getting married. Are they your children?? If parents are okay with their child getting married what’s your business you satanists? How come you’re not providing solutions to teen pregnancy? Its because you want it to happen.
Can’t understand your argument sir
Some 16 year old are more mature than this same f00lish ambassador. At 16 I was bringing an income into my family home.
Umm Bwana, you were bringing income? What about school kaili?
So was I but that didn’t mean I was ready for marriage
If you can work, you can produce
very commendable indeed even if you were cleaning toilets to assist your family
Tikki I have never worked as a toilet cleaner, that is more a profession of upnd diasporans like yourself
Aba nabo, first improve the standards of living. The very poor know that this is partly for survival.
Comments are closed.