Mansa chief decides to dissolve ‘early marriages’

Chief Kasoma-Lwela of the Ushi people in Mansa district has decided to dissolve all marriages involving underage girls in his chiefdom.

The Chief also says he will expel parents who are encouraging teenage marriages from his chiefdom.

Chief Kasoma-Lwela has observed that underage marriages are rife in his area and were affecting education of girl children and exposing them to  HIV and AIDS at a tender age.

He says  early marriages were exposing young girls to complication at giving birth resulting in increased maternal and infant mortality.

The traditional leader said this yesterday during a meeting organized by Mansa District Women Development Association (DWA) to mark this year’s commemoration of 16 Days of Gender Activism.

He vowed to ensure that all marriages involving underage girls below 18 years old are dissolved and girls ordered to get back to school.

Chief Kasoma-Lwela warned parents who married off their children at a tender age, saying they risked being expelled to deter other parents from marrying off their underage girls.

And Mansa DWA Coordinator, Elizabeth Mushili, said that there was need for intensified sensitization programs on gender and gender-issues in rural areas.

In an interview with ZANIS, Ms Mushili said many people in rural areas do not understand their gender roles and only equate gender to rights of women.

She said her association had embarked on a program to sensitize people in various rural communities on the Gender and Land Policy during the 16 Days of Gender Activism.

ZANIS

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