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Early marriage child mother.

Zambia records 31 percent child marriages

LAST year’s demographic survey indicates that Zambia recorded 31 percent of child marriages, says Ministry of Gender permanent secretary Felix Phiri.
And Dr Phiri said the process to review the marriage age is still underway and is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Justice.

He said the Constitution defines a child as anyone below the age of 18 years while the Marriage Act indicates that a child above 18 but below 21 years can get married with consent from parents.

Dr Phiri was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Chama district commissioner Leonard Ngoma on Saturday.
He was in Muchinga Province to hand over six tillers to three chiefdoms – Tembwe, Kambombo and Chibale.
Dr Phiri said the debate on the legal age for a girl to get married is aimed at protecting the lives of girls.
He said pieces of legislation that aim to protect the lives of children should be harmonised to guide on who a child is.
Dr Phiri condemned individuals abusing the Internet to corrupt the minds of children.
He said Zambia is a Christian nation and people should abide by values that promote Christianity.
He said for Zambia to continue championing the gender agenda, it is important that both boys and girls are protected.
“We do not want to lose the gains we have accumulated in championing the gender agenda, people trying to bring down the values of the nation should reflect on their behaviour,” he said.
While in the province Dr Phiri also urged women to take their children to school as opposed to marrying them off.
He said Government has made strides in fighting early, forced and child marriages and will ensure that the rights of children are protected.
“Child marriages have a negative impact on young mother because their body is not ready to bear a child, resulting in the young mothers developing complications during birth,” Dr Phiri said.
He said to alleviate poverty and ensure that Zambia becomes a middle income by 2030, child marriages should be eliminated.