Gender Gender

More sensitisation on child marriage needed – Chikanta

Early marriage child mother.

PRISCILLA MWILA, Lusaka
CHIEF Chikanta of the Tonga people in Kalomo district has called on stakeholders to intensify sensitisation in both rural and urban areas to enhance the fight against child marriages.
Chief Chikanta said his chiefdom is working with the Zambia Centre for Communication Programmes (ZCCP) to train headmen on how to appropriately handle gender-based violence and child marriage cases.
Speaking in an interview recently, Chief Chikanta who is also southern royal foundation of chiefs chairperson said leaders need to have adequate information on GBV and child marriages so that they are able to sensitise people on the vices.
“I have partnered with ZCCP to educate headmen and other leaders in my chiefdom on the dangers of marrying off children at an early age, how they should handle such cases and where to report. I will also ensure that punishment is stiffened on perpetrators of the vice,” he said
Chief Chikanta said organisations such as World Vision have also come on board to offer counselling services to children in schools on HIV and AIDS, GBV and other issues relating to their rights.
He said most children are unaware of the effects of these vices on their lives which is why most of them are easily married off.
Chief Chikanta said children are entitled to receive adequate information on various issues that affect them, including reproductive health for them to make well informed decisions.
He has appealed to Government to support organisations that are willing to educate people in rural areas on various issues including GBV and child marriages
Mr Chikanta also advised parents to continue imparting good morals in their children and put education as priority for them.
He has also urged other traditional leaders to develop a spirit of oneness and work with others to share ideas on various issues that affect chiefdoms in Zambia.

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