ZAMBIA has rolled out a robust programme and a campaign to end child, early and forced marriages, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has said.
Mr Kalaba said the Zambian Government had put up measures to end early and forced marriages by involving ministers, Members of Parliament (MP), traditional leaders, non-Governmental organisations and the Church.
The Minister was speaking at the side event on ‘ending child, early and forced marriages’ during the 69th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
“I agree that Zambia has seen an increase in the number of teenage girls getting pregnant and statistics show that 28 per cent of pregnancies are those involving teenagers.
“We have also noted42 per cent of girls are married before the age of 18 years. Once they drop out of school, these girls are stuck in the cycle of poverty as they are not educated. The teenage girls also have complications of pregnancy such as obstructed labour and maternal deaths,” he said.
The Government, he said, was trying to ensure that the children grew up to realise their full potential.
Mr Kalaba said the Government was undertaking career guidance programmes in schools in order to inspire girls and boys to take up careers in different fields according to their abilities.
“In addition, the Zambia Government has partnered with the private sector such as commercial banks and other entities to empower girls and young women through the provision of entrepreneurship skills and equipment in order for them to engage in income generating ventures,” he said.
The Minister hoped that the 69th General Assembly would have strong language on gender inequalities and empowerment of girls and women.
Times of Zambia