Looming drought tempers child marriage court ruling joy_ Alpha Media Holdings_ 02 February 2016

Date: February 2, 2016
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Name of the story: Looming drought tempers child marriage court ruling joy

Name of the media house: Alpha Media Holdings

Country: Zimbabwe


Brief description of the item of work you submitted and motivation of why it is a good example of gender awareness and sensitivity in advancing gender equality Post-2015.

The article is about two Zimbabwean women who won the battle on child marriages after the constitutional court ruled in their favour, banning child marriages in the country. This was a landmark ruling in the history of the country. Young girls were being married willingly, but now it is a crime in Zimbabwe to marry a girl under the age of 18.

However, despite Zimbabweans celebrating the victory, the looming hunger in the SADC region is a hindering factor. Most girls are being married off in exchange of grain, but women said they will fight against this and will ensure that the rule of law prevails despite social factors like hunger. The article tells of two stories, that is the child marriage court ruling as well as the drought that will dampen the celebration mood especially in the rural areas.


Why did you produce the story? What problem or context is it responding to?

The article is about the child marriage court victory that two women fought for in the courts. The victory has saved a number of women and young girls who are being married under the stipulated age. Child marriages have been rampant in the country, with young girls being married off to old men thereby negatively affecting their future. It is now a crime to marry an underage girl in Zimbabwe.

However, the victory came at the height of the El-nino induced drought that is prevailing in the country as well as the whole SADC region. However, the women pressure groups have vowed to ensure that the rule of law is applied despite hunger wreaking havoc mainly in the rural areas, where child marriages are prevalent.

Key objectives

What did you hope to achieve with this coverage?

The article hope to achieve the long walk to freedom by Zimbabwean women as far as protecting the rights of the girl child is concerned. The victory should be known and as well how the women who are in celebration mood are ready to tackle obstacles like hunger in the application of justice on child marriages. The article shows how two women braved all the way to the constitutional court and ended up victors at the end of the day.

Target audience

Whom did you hope to reach? Did you succeed in reaching this audience? What evidence do you have to that effect?

I hoped to reach the women, the perpetrators (men who marry children) , the government and other stakeholders. Government need to provide enough food to the rural folks to avoid child marriages, otherwise the court ruling will be in vain.

How did you go about researching and writing the story?

How did you gather the data, how many sources, female and male did you consult? Why did you choose these sources and how were their voices important?

I gathered the data from the court, the women pressure groups, and gender activists among others. Their voices are important in that it shows the seriousness of the matter at hand and how the women have successfully fought for women rights. The sources are the major players, whose comments clearly shows how they are advocating for their rights.


What impact did it have? What evidence do you have to illustrate impact?

Please provide any examples of feedback that you received from the articles (from websites, letters, etc.)

The feedback can be seen on how the judiciary system in Zimbabwe has been tough on the child marriages perpetrators.

Follow up

How would you conduct a follow up to your story and why?

I will do a follow up story after a year that I will gather data from the courts to see how many culprits were tried over since the court ruling on child marriages.

To read the story click here