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TaLI Commemorates Day of the African Child

TaLI, Tag a Life, Girl Child, Girl Child Rights in Zimbabwe, Child Marriages in Zimbabwe, Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, Nyari Mashayamombe, Human Rights Activists in Africa, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Chilren's Rights, African Union, Children's Rights, Child Marriages in Southern Africa, Child Marriages in Africa, Girls Education in Zimbabwe, Girl Child in Zimbabwe, Women's Rights in Zimbabwe, Girls in Midlands Province Zimbabwe, Ministry of Education, UNFPA Zimbabwe, UNICEF Zimbabwe, HIV in girls in Zimbabwe, Girls Sexual Reproductive Health, Women's Rights Activists in Zimbabwe, Human Rights Activists in Zimbabwe, Children's Rights, TaLI Theory of Change, Girls in Tech, Girls in STERM in Zimbabwe, Lazarus Dokora, UN Women

Today the region commemorates the Day of the African Child, and TaLI attended a press conference organised by the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), which sought to highlight some of the challenges faced by children. Child marriages remain a centre factor with issues ranging from harmful religious and cultural practices, lack of education, poverty among others. Parliamentarians were called on to ensure that they deliver on some of the pledges they made to advance the rights of girls in ending child marriages.

It was noted that the unavailability of an act of law to directly guide in dealing with the criminality of child marriages continue to give room to failed justice. Police are said to still have incapacity to address or arrest child marriage perpetrators due the long over due act. The existing children’s act is not clear on the age of marriage and provides further confusion on issues of sexual consent for girls when compared to the 20 January 2016 ruling of outlawing child marriages. The law makers have taken too much time to align the laws with the constitution and its been 4 years since the inception of the new constitution that makes age of marriage to be 18.

While the government is urged to fast track the marriage laws alignments to outlaw this scourge, communities have a role to play in ending child marriage. We are the ones who end it by not participating in the marrying of children. While we currently do not have the actual law that speaks into this issue, the domestic violence act of 2006 criminalises this act of child marriages and community members are empowered to act against the abuse of children by their parents, guardians, relatives as well as any member of the community. The Gender Commission is in place to help address tough cases where we feel justice has not served the cause.

Issues of abuse of children through rape and sexual assault are rampant and perpetrators are roaming the streets because of failed justice system. We call on the government to award more money to the relevant ministries and ensure the system is less corrupt so that justice may prevail for victims of abuse and their families. Thousands of cases of abuse have not been attended due to both under funded justice system as well as corruption. Abuse of power by some leaders also have exposed children to abuse and have blocked justice to be saved as they use their political muscle to influence cases.

The Zimbabwe and Africa we want is one where children’s rights are respected and honoured, so that we breed a generation of Africans who are proud of themselves and who work to sustainably make it move forward. Agenda 2063 is only possible when children are looked after, who will be alive during that period. Let us all ‘Make the World Safe for Girls, Young Women and our Youths’, it begins with YOU!


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