CHAMBO NG’UNI, Kabwe
TRADITIONAL leaders in the country have reaffirmed their commitment to doubling their efforts aimed at ending child marriages, address teenage
pregnancies and elimination of all forms of gender-based violence (GBV).
The traditional leaders said this in a communiqué released in Kabwe on Tuesday at the end of a three-day orientation meeting of the House of Chiefs.
They said they are concerned about the welfare of children and young people.
The theme of the meeting was ‘Health outcomes for adolescents and young people’.
“We hereby collectively and individually commit to double our efforts to eliminate child marriage, reduce teenage pregnancy and all forms of GBV in our chiefdoms and in the country,” the communiqué, which was read by chairperson Chief Ngabwe, read in part.
The chiefs have committed themselves to ending child marriages in their respective chiefdoms and ensure that all the girls who are victims of the scourge or fall pregnant return to school.
They urged Government to allocate enough resources towards addressing the drivers of child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
The chiefs said there should be sustainable change in the fight against the factors that negatively affect the wellbeing and progression of children, adolescents and young people.
“In further analysis of data, we have observed that teen pregnancy is higher when children are in grades seven and nine. We commit to engage the Ministry of General Education to get an understanding why the situation is like this,” they said.
The traditional leaders also urged Government to invest in education and healthcare facilities that are user-friendly to girls and young women.
They appealed to civil society organisations, Government, United Nations agencies and faith-based organisations to look at data and prioritise intervention in hotspot areas.
The chiefs pledged to coordinate and cooperate with Government and different co-operating partners so that whatever programmers and interventions being implemented achieve the desired results.