Gender Gender

Let’s deal with cause of early marriages – Chief Mumena

MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
A TRADITIONAL leader in North-western Province is optimistic that dealing with the root cause of child and early marriages will help fight the vices that have robbed young girls of a good future.
Chief Mumena said in an interview that despite strides Government and other stakeholders have made in fighting early and child marriages, there are still increasing reports of the vice.
“We are aware that poverty is one of the main drivers of early and child marriages but I am sure there are other certain factors which negatively contribute to these problems which need to be sorted out as early as possible,” Chief Mumena said.
He said cases of early and child marriage are still high in his chiefdom, making it impossible for young girls to attain higher levels of education.
Chief Mumena said the cost of living in his chiefdom has gone up, resulting in some parents failing to pay for their children`s schools fees.
“There are about four mining firms in my district and many people are flocking to the area in search of decent employment. This has affected the local people, especially those who have failed to get jobs with the same mines and as a result many people are still wallowing in poverty and failing to take their children to school,” he said.
The traditional leader said it is therefore, important for Government and other stakeholders to find a sustainable solution to ending poverty in an effort to fight child and early marriages.
He appealed to  Government to initiate income generating activities for local people and find a market for them to allow them generate income and improve their lives.
“Women in my area are not benefiting from any Government empowerment fund programme. They only benefit from some corporate social responsibility from some mining companies but this is not sustainable. It is my plea that Government comes on board and assists women in the area.  This will help reduce early and child marriages,” he said.

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