Child marriages worries national leaders

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Child marriages worries national leaders

Mwansabombwe, May 3, ZANIS ————- Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo has described the issue of child marriages in the country as a complex one which needs concerted efforts from all stake holders if the fight is to be won.

Professor Luo says the issue of child marriages has been complicated by the different definition given to a child including the traditional definition of a child.

Professor Luo noted that it is saddening that people have taken advantage of such definitions of a child to work to their advantage and abuse the girl child in a manner that suits them.

The Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister said this when she launched the provincial campaign against child Marriages in Mwansabombwe district of Luapula Province yesterday.

Professor Luo said child marriage is associated with poverty and is rampant in rural areas adding that child marriage is a hindrance to the country’s meeting the millennium development goals.

She observed that children that get into early marriages are prone to maternal deaths and are exposed to sexually transmitted disease including HIV and AIDS.

She however, said government will work with chiefs through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to ensure that the issue of child marriages is put to a stop.

And earlier Luapula Province Minister Brigadier General Benson Kapaya reviled that in the year 2012, Luapula province recorded over 700 cases of girls dropping out of school to get into marriages.

General Kapaya said the issue of child marriage has been hunting the province, adding that the launching of the campaign will go a long way in ensuring that child marriages are ended.

He assured the Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister of the province’s full support of the campaign.

Zambia has launched a campaign against child marriages under the theme, “End child marriages, let girls be girls, and not brides”.