—-Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL ) Board Chairperson, Beauty Katebe says her organization is concerned with the continued withdrawal of underage girl children from school for early marriages.
Ms Katebe says ZNWL was concerned that some parents did not realize the importance of giving their girl children education in preference to early marriages.
She advised parents in the country not withdraw their children from school in exchange for money and animals as dowry given for marriages.
The ZNWL instead parents should instead protect their girl children by ensuring that they secure a better future for them through education.
ZANIS reports that Ms Katebe said this in an interview in Lusaka, today.
“ It is unfortunate that in this era and age many parents can still disregard the importance of educating the girl child and marrying them off at tender age when they are not yet ready for a marriage commitment, ‘ she said.
She was commenting on a 12 year old grade two girl from Kapiri Mposhi who was forced into marriage with an elderly man by her parents but was withdrawn from that marriage by Central Province Campaign against Early Marriages committee.
Ms Katebe has since called on relevant authorities to ensure that the peasant farmer who married the girl and currently on the run should be brought to book.
She has urged other cooperating partners to continue with the sensitization against early marriages.
Ms Katebe said it was a sad that underage girls were forced into marriages which she said is a life time commitment which is supposed to be made when a person is mature.
She observed that marriages to underage girls were contributing to high mortality rate as some of the young girls deliver still born babies because they are too young to undergo through that process.
A twelve year-old grade two girl at Renato Basic School in chief Nkole’s area in Kapiri Mposhi district has been withdrawn from a marriage forced by her father.
Central Province Campaign Against Early Marriages Coordinator, Dorothy Mambwe this confirmed the development in an interview in Kapiri Mposhi district, today.
Ms. Mambwe said the girl has since been put under the care of Nsungeni Orphanage for custody and counseling.