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Contact Admin. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the practice by in keeping with Sustainable Development Goal 5. The harm caused by child marriage has many faces: Child marriage further perpetuates the cycle of poverty, which is its main driver. The African Union has even designated him to champion efforts in combatting the practice on the continent.
For her part, First Lady Esther Lungu has been staunchly advocating against child marriage, rallying other first ladies to this cause. In creating an advocacy and communication strategy, we rode on this positive political and social environment in the country and abroad. Foremost in our minds was to make sure that stakeholders would feel a sense of ownership with the strategy we were to develop. We did this by inviting wide participation each step of the way, and by manifesting our respect for Zambian traditions and culture.
We had lively focus group discussions with mothers and grandmothers on child marriage and related issues Lusaka, Sept This meant recognizing that social norms like child marriage and traditional practices like initiation rites of passage evolved over long timespans and cannot be changed overnight — and certainly not by stigmatization or coercion. Community elders also reminded us that, historically, child marriage has been a coping mechanism in the face of low life expectancy, compounded by early deaths due to AIDS, other infectious diseases, and high infant and maternal mortality.
Upon reaching puberty, girls undergo initiation ceremonies, a practice that is widespread all over Zambia. In rural areas, the traditional ceremonies take different forms and last for weeks, preventing the girl from attending school. The girls are taught about hygiene during menstruation, sex, homemaking and more, and a girl who has completed initiation is considered ready for marriage. Marriage bestows prestige on a girl, earning her respect in the community. Once a girl or boy is married, regardless of their age, she or he reaches the age of majority and is regarded as an adult.
Colorful flags hanging around a homestead indicate that an initiation ceremony is taking place. Our field visits and consultations in September and November , and in January , brought us to three districts: Lusaka, Senanga and Katete. Login Signup. Signup Login Contact Admin. Palmyra 25 Senanga.