Government considers introducing Single Marriages Act to curb child marriages

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revealed that government is working on introducing a single Marriages Act in an effort to curb the rampant cases of child marriages which have seen an estimated 31 percent of girls in the country getting married before their 18th birthday.

Speaking at the presentation of the Parliamentarians girls-pledge to civic society recently, VP Mnangagwa said,

Government welcomes the Constitutional Court landmark ruling of January 20, 2016 to ban child marriages. The ruling raised the minimum age at which both men and women can marry to 18.Suffice to say that, my ministry has also identified the need to align the marriages laws to the constitution. Government will soon craft single a marriage laws regime that will seek to redress all areas that are currently discriminatory towards the rights of women. All that remains is to embark on consultative meetings so that the community is involved, as the issues pertaining to the age of consent are very contentious.

Mnangagwa also warned perpetrators of crimes such as forced virginity testing, female genital mutilation, pledging of women and girls for purposes of avenging spirits and forced marriages that they shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment or a level 14 fine, or both under the Domestic Violence Act.

More: Open Parly

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