Zimbabwe: Say no to child marriage

Zimbabwe: Say no to child marriage

Date: October 3, 2014
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Harare, 3 October: Roots Zimbabwe launched its ongoing campaign to stop child marriage in June and has held various events and workshops throughout August and September. Last month, youth activists gathered in Harare to march in protest of forced and child marriages. Roots Zimbabwe organised this campaign under the theme Not ripe for marriage. The march came to a close with a musical street party where many different artists took to the stage to speak out, chanting the slogan, “let the children grow.”

Every year 14 million girls around the world are married as children. In Zimbabwe, 21% of married women are under the age of 18. According to the 2014 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer child marriages take place in almost all the countries in the SADC region. Child marriage is a violation of human rights whether it happens to a girl or a boy, but it represents perhaps the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls, fundamentally hindering the achievement of gender equality. The harmful consequences include separation from family and friends, lack of freedom to interact with peers and participate in community activities and decreased opportunities for education.

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Levi Mberego is a freelance video journalist based in Botswana. This vodcast forms part of a Gender Links News Service, offering fresh views on everyday news.


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