Child marriages deters national development – Katema
Solwezi, May 3, ZANIS ——Community Development Mother and Child Health Minister, Joseph Katema has called for concerted efforts in addressing the scourge of child marriages in Zambia because it deters development.
Dr Katema said it is saddening that child marriages frequently occur among girls who are least educated, poorest and living in rural areas.
He said as a result if the children get married without an education, they are also likely to have illiterate children because they will have no means to educate the children they produce.
Dr Katema said this at Chief Mumena’s palace in Solwezi yesterday when he launched the campaign against child marriages.
He said it is important that children are encouraged to get educated so that they will be in a position to have the capacity to send their children to school.
Dr Katema said according to projected figures of child marriages, if nothing is done to deter the child marriage scourge, there will be 453,000 of young girls born between 2005 and 2010 who will be in
marriages by 2030 representing an increase of 80 percent.
He said such a state of affairs is unacceptable especially from the Zambian government which has got the vision 2030 of becoming a middle income nation.
Dr Katema said government is already working from a multi-sectoral approach by partnering with a number of line ministries such as Community Development, Gender and Child Development, Health Education, Home Affairs, civil society organizations and development partners to develop linkages and synergies in addressing child marriages.
He said the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is spearheading the campaign against child marriage so that chiefs who are custodians of traditions, customs, norms, beliefs and values can also help in putting in place strategies which while safeguarding core traditions, will do away with negative practices like child marriages.