Tag a Life International (TaLI), a girls and young women’s rights organisation under the support and partnership of Higher Life Foundation (HLF) have the pleasure of releasing the report on child mar-riages titled "The Face Of Child Marriages In Mashonaland West; Girls Voices on Child Marriag-es in Zimbabwe”. Originated and edited by TaLI Executive Director Nyaradzo Mashayamombe with sub editors Monica Tonodzai HLF and Ennie Makoni, the report was Informed by 10 Focus Group Discussions with 333 Girls from 4 schools in Mashonaland
West Province in Zimbabwe.
The document explores the causes and effects of child marriages. It seeks to learn from the girls experiences in their communities and provide possible mitigating wisdom accord-ing to their context. This study is based on the voices of girls themselves without the in-fluence of others, as the facilitators of the program ensured that any authority figures such as teachers were removed during the focus group discussions. This ensured that the girls led their own conversations, documented their responses and presented them before the group. The presentations were made to the girls present as well as staff from Tag a Life International (TaLI), Higherlife Foundation and relevant ministry representa-tives such as Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Women Affairs and the District Administrator’s Office Mashonaland West.
We are sharing this report to inform programming on Child Marriages or Early Marriages in Mashonaland West, and to provide some wisdom to those who may implement around the same issues in other provinces in Zimbabwe because often issues of early marriages have similarities for girls belonging the same age groups. This report certainly informs our own programmes as organisations working with young people in Zimbabwe, and we wish to contribute to the body of knowledge in Africa regarding child marriages and reproduc-tive health issues that affect young women and youths. With this report, we are ensuring that young women themselves have voices that speaks into such programmes’ planning, designing and implementation as demonstrated by their contributions to this report. This should also ensure best practice and community engagement models as we address is-sues of child marriages