Chief Madzimawe praised for withdrawing girl children from forced marriages

Chief Madzimawe arrives for the ATI forum with his Indunas in tow

Zambia National Women Lobby Board Chairperson, Beauty Katebe, has commended Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people for withdrawing some young girls in his chiefdom who were forced into early marriages.

Ms Katebe said the serious involvement of traditional leaders, such as Chief Madzimawe, in the fight against early marriages is a step in the right direction.

She said traditional leaders, the Church and community leaders should be in the forefront and intervene in their respective communities when a girl child is withdrawn from school and forced into an early marriage.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS, Ms Katebe said a girl child needs to be empowered with education as this will help her to be economically independent.

Ms Katebe stated that girls who get pregnant whilst in school should be encouraged to go back to school instead of marrying them off because there is a re-entry policy by the Ministry of Education for them to enrol back in school.

She has called upon the girl child to report to their community and Church leaders when they are being forced into early marriages, adding that the Zambia National Women Lobby has structures at district level that can also help them get out of those marriages.

Chief Madzimawe is reported to have withdrawn five young girls from marriages since the fight against early marriages started in his Chiefdom and he has since reported the matter to the department of child protection unity at Chipata Central Police Station.