Protect the girl-child

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EDITOR — EARLY child-marriages are really disturbing as they remain one of the main problems in modern societies affecting the development of the girl-child.
I have been following the Marriage Bill closely and at most public hearings, society has been lamenting the issue of child-marriages in most rural and urban areas across the country.
This is really sad as the children are neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers.
They face more risks of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
Also disturbing is the picture circulating on social media of a 69-year-old madzibaba cuddling a child who looks barely 15 years old.
This calls for serious awareness campaigns in the religious sector.
Messages such as ‘Marrying a child is a crime’, should be continuously relayed.
People need to be reminded time and again of the dangers of child marriages.
It is not even marriage, its pure rape.
Many experiences and personal stories prove that such marriages can have disastrous effects such as contracting HIV/AIDS and domestic violence.
Early marriage is the worst form of sexual abuse.
These child-marriages have resulted in girls prematurely dropping out of school, causing the country to lose some brilliant minds that would have developed the country.
May the chiefs help in bringing such cases in their communities to light.
May the law makers expedite the Bill so our girls can be protected from predators with no moral qualms about destroying young lives.
Let us unite to fight child-marriages.

Grace Musembwa,
Glen View.

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