By Christopher Chisi
Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) has intensified its efforts to end the scourge of both child and early marriages in the country.
The Organisation which is a member of the network on ending Child marriage in Zambia, through its National Director, Maureen Tresha indicated that it remains resolute to continuously engage girls on different fora so as to sensitize them on the dangers of early marriages and pregnancies among other vices.
Mrs.Tresha was speaking when she addressed Grade 9, 10 and 11 school girls, from Matipula and Chainda Secondary Schools as well as Mulola Primary school during a Mentorship discussion on ending Child Marriages held in Chongwe district of Lusaka province on Wednesday. (30th October 2019).
Also present at the meeting were student Nurses from Saint Luke Nursing College of Rufunsa district who are doing practicals at Chongwe District Hospital.
“This is not the first and last time we are meeting, we intend to have more interactions with you [girls] on different fora so that you can be able to pass this knowledge to your friends,” Mrs.Tresha said.
“We would also like to know what you [girls] want to become after you complete your secondary education and we do have people that can mentor you to become what you want to become in future”.
Mrs.Tresha noted that mentors can help young people to avoid negative behaviours and instead achieve success or attain their dreams.
And speaking at the same event Chongwe Police Station Victim Support Unit, Coordinator, Steven Kashiba called for a closer interface between the community and traditional leaders in order to curb the problem of early marriages especially in rural areas where the vice is still rife.
Inspector Kashiba advised community members in the area to report to traditional leaders, parents who still have a tendency of marrying off their children at a tender age.
“We want to prepare the next generation through sensitization programs. So far we have been to so many primary schools in this district sensitizing children on the dangers of indulging into sexual activities and child marriages,” he said.
He noted that Chongwe district like any other rural area records a high number of Child and Early marriages and has since advised young people to refrain from immoral activities.
And Head Woman Chikonkonto of Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo the second appealed to young girls to priorities their education.
The traditional Leader further observed that there was no need for girls to rush to get married because in this era and age education is the best equalizer.