Zimbabwe: Nothing ‘Wholesome’ About Zimbabwe’s Child Brides

June 25, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

Zimbabwe: Nothing ‘Wholesome’ About Zimbabwe’s Child Brides

See original/source content: http://allafrica.com/stories/201506240933.html

Zimbabwe’s prosecutor general, Johannes Tomana, recently asserted that girls as young as 12 can consent to sex and marriage. In an interview last week, Tomana said marrying off 12-year-olds is a “practical” and “wholesome” solution for girls who are out of school and for poor families struggling in Zimbabwe’s ailing economy.

Peddling the misconception that child marriage can improve the lives of girls and poor families is not only outrageous, it is dangerous, especially when the comments come from a senior government official whose job it is to uphold laws that should protect girls from abuse and exploitation.

The United Nations says nearly one-third of girls in Zimbabwe marry before their 18th birthday and 4 percent before they turn 15. Human Rights Watch investigations, along with research conducted by other groups and UN agencies, have found that child marriage typically ends a girl’s ability to continue her education, exposes her to domestic and sexual violence (including marital rape), and also increases the risk of HIV infection.

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