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UNICEF Applauds Govt Move On Child Marriages

UNICEF has applauded the government over the recent Constitutional Court judgment affirming that no child under the age of 18 is legally allowed to get married.

This comes after the President of Zimbabwe recently signed into law the Marriages Act that prohibits the marriage of minors under the age of 18.

Addressing the media yesterday ahead of the Day of the African Child (16 June) ,UNICEF representative Dr Tajudeen Oyewale said the Constitutional Court judgment is a step towards elimination of child marriages.

“UNICEF is grateful to the partners who responded to our invitation to join hands to increase public awareness on the high percentage of girls being married before 18, and to call on everybody to act against child marriage,” said Dr Oyewale.

“While this legislation is important, it is not enough. We need behavioural changes in communities and throughout the society. Adolescent girls need to be given the opportunity to develop their full potential as individuals,” he added.

UN Women Representative, Fatou Aminata Lo also welcomed the Constitutional Court ruling and the adoption of legislation which set the legal age of majority at 18.

“We applaud the recent adoption of legislation setting the legal age for marriage to 18 years. This is a major development that comes as a result of years of evidence-based advocacy and we owe it to the girls of this country to enforce this law so that they can be seen for what they are: girls, not brides, not free labour, not commodities. Girls looking up to us to remove the many obstacles society has put on their pathways,” said UN Women Representative.

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