Africa Bans Child Marriages

KAYLA HEIDEBRECHT

Staff Writer

On January 20, 2016, Zimbabwe banned child marriages after two former child brides went to constitutional court. The two women’s plan were to fight for girls to not be married at such a young age. It was proven that girls who were married as children dealt with many more struggles than adult marriages.

The two women fought for this by showing how putting a child in a marriage is child abuse. These girls are married at such a young age so their family has less mouths to feed because of poverty, which leads to a recurring cycle of poverty. The young girl leaves a poor family, but has many children at a young age and is poor again, so her daughters will be married off at a young age and so continues the cycle.

These young girls are also being exposed to HIV from these marriages and are expected to raise children when they are still children themselves. Girls giving birth at such a young have many more birthing complications which can be fatal. This is because these young girl’s bodies are still developing. Mentally and physically these girls’ bodies are not developed for having children or for being sexually active.

The two women were arguing that children marrying at such a young age are being deprived of their basic needs. This includes their basic freedoms and even getting an education that these children cannot have because they are being forced to raise children.

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