Child marriage remains a prevalent issue across the country of Zambia. According to the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, on average, 42 per cent of girls will be married before their 18th birthday. In early July 2014, a symposium was organized to share progress, successes and challenges for the movement to end child marriage.
The symposium brought together various ministries and delegates, including the UNFPA Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, and the First Lady of Zambia, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata.
The symposium stressed the commitment to ending child marriage in Africa and the importance of promoting the protection of girls’ rights. It also emphasized the importance of investing in young people – especially those at risk of human rights abuses.
“Symposiums like this are important as they try and practically address the ESA Commitment targets. In this case, the goal of eliminating child marriage,” said Mwansa Njelesani-Kaira, UNESCO’s Regional HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Officer, who attended the event. “Access to quality education and health information and services is the best way we can empower young people.”
For more information, please visit UNFPA’s Report on the symposium shown below.
UNFPA: Report on the Symposium
Photo credit: UNFPA. Shown in picture is UNFPA’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Dr. Julitta Onabanjo