KAPALA CHISUNKA, Lusaka
POLICY Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has called for co-ordination and collaboration among non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working towards ending child marriages to ensure their efforts are not duplicated.
PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka said in a statement yesterday that Government should continue to partner with NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs) to facilitate the improved monitoring, evaluation and implementation of policies to achieve success.
Ms Deka was commenting on the recently launched national strategy on ending child marriages in Zambia, which runs from 2016 to 2021.
“PMRC recommends designing a clear proposal by stating the exact legislative proposals being made by stakeholders considering the major concern may be the issue of consent. This must be stated and clearly outlined with the prescribed age being proposed,” she said.
Ms Deka said there is need for careful consideration of the cultural and social norms which currently guide Zambians to ensure the proposed legislative reform is understood, appreciated and championed by all citizens.
“The proposed legislative reforms must be widely consultative as possible ensuring that all citizens are aware of the changes and the final reforms. Government, with the support of non-state actors, must ensure there is a clear communication strategy to increase public understanding on the contents of the proposed legislation, clearly stating the potential benefits of ending child marriages in Zambia,” she said.
Government through the Ministry of Gender, recently launched the national strategy on ending child marriages aimed at accelerating national efforts to end child marriages by 2030.