Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has called for coordination among stakeholders dealing with child marriages to come up with practical solutions. The meeting at Zimbabwe House was attended by Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima, Women’s Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni, Government officials and child rights organisations.
The First Lady called for the meeting to discuss child marriages and come up with a lasting solution.
“The area of child marriages is of great concern to me,” she said.
“The statistics of child marriages are still high and it is, therefore, crucial that we meet and cross-pollinate ideas and come up with more practical solutions in the eradication of child marriages.
“The effects of child marriages are resulting in higher than average maternal morbidity and mortality rates for 15-19-year-olds, higher infant mortality rate among their children, diminished capacity to responsibly raise their children to be productive citizens, higher rates of violence in child marriages, increased prevalence of HIV, lack of personal and economic autonomy, limited participation in development, limited decision-making in relation to their own lives, weaker economic indicators and weaker ability to climb out of poverty, loss of educational opportunities and social isolation.”
The First Lady commended child rights activist Mrs Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda for working towards total eradication of girl child marriages.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister Mavima called for public awareness to start from the grassroots at villages to curb child marriages.