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Migrant workers causing child marriages in Chiredzi

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Migrant workers causing child marriages in Chiredzi


Increase Gumbo

Mirror Reporter

CHIREDZI – Young men working in South Africa are one of the chief causes of early child marriages in the border district of Chiredzi, a national inquiry on child marriages, sexual exploitation and abuse of young girls in Zimbabwe has heard.

Men working as farm labourers and domestic workers across the border in South Africa are flashy when they come home for holidays and this lures young girls in Chiredzi who elope with them to South Africa.

The inquiry which was conducted by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission in partnership with United Nations Development …UNDP) was held at Chilonga Secondary School on Friday, and was chaired by Margret Mukahanana Sangarwe the chairperson of the Commission. 

The report of the findings of the nationwide inquiry will be sent to Parliament with a view to end child marriages.

The inquiry also heard that poverty is a strong factor that lures the girls into marriages with the migrant workers.

Sangarwe said the inquiry is coming against a backdrop of high prevalence of child marriages, sexual exploitation and abuse of young girls in the country.

The workshop was attended by Government department heads, traditional leaders, villagers and Chiredzi Rural District Council (RDC) officials. 

Zimbabwe Gender Commission reported in 2021 that a total of 35.3% of girls below 18 years venture into early marriages while only 4.2% of boys do the same.

Villagers at the workshop insisted that men working in South Africa were the main culprits fueling child marriages.

“The majority of young men here work in South Africa. When they come back, they lure our young girls whom they elope with to South Africa,” said Chiredzi RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ailes Baloyi.

“We are poor and when migrant workers come home, they spend lavishly thereby enticing young girls with their flashy lifestyles,” said a villager.

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