15 March 2022
Dr Tajudeen Oyewale
This commitment has been demonstrated by the launch of the National Action Plan on Ending Child Marriage and rulings by the Constitutional Court. The reality, however, remains that more efforts are required by all stakeholders to address the practice, as current data from the Zimbabwe Statistics Office (ZIMSTAT) indicate that one out of three girls in Zimbabwe will be married before their 18th birthday. The passing of the Marriage Bill, recently, through Parliament is one step closer to enactment of the Bill, which would bring a fundamental shift in addressing child marriages. Child marriage is globally recognised as a violation of the rights of the child and a risk factor for violence against children. In Zimbabwe, like other countries, girls who are married under 18 years are often the least educated, poorest and those living in rural areas. The consequences of child marriages are devastating and often determine the trajectory of a girl’s life.