26 September 2018
GENDER and political activist, Linda Masarira, has implored lawmakers to come up with solutions on child marriages.
Linda Masarira made the call during the Zimbabwe Lawyers Association multi-stakeholders meeting in Harare yesterday where issues affecting women in education, health, employment and public participation were addressed.
The stakeholders meeting was hosted by the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.
“The laws safeguarding the girl child are imprisoning them; every two seconds a child becomes a victim of forced marriage. This child rights violation robs millions of their childhoods, substituting a life of misery and hardship.
“I was at Glen View Clinic recently where they were 27 girls impregnated of which 20 of them are under the age of 13 and revealed to me that their impregnators could not marry them because there were laws set aside against child marriages,” she said.
“Child marriages predominantly affect girls who live in poverty and in rural areas.
“Religion is also a driver of child marriage in Zimbabwe. For example, in the Apostolic Faith, religion combines with traditional culture and girls are often encouraged to marry much older men at a very young age.”