Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Zambia’s Minister of Gender, Elizabeth Phiri has told the United Nations (UN) that President Edgar Lungu continues to campaign against Early and Forced Child Marriage in Africa because he is a firm advocate of protecting girl children’s rights, African Daily Voice has learnt.
Phiri was delivering her key note address at the 63rd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) event themed, “Accelerating the elimination of harmful practices to reap the demographic dividend in Africa”. The event is ongoing until next Friday at the UN Headquarters in New York.
It is hosted by Zambia, Burkina Faso, Canada and Italy in partnership with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), and the African Union (AU).
“The campaign against Early Child Marriage in Africa has resulted into the formulation of legislation and national plans aimed at eradicating the vice in Africa,” she said.
“It is our responsibility to challenge the discriminatory laws and negative social norms under which the vice of Early Child Marriage is being practiced.”
Phiri noted that educating girl children remain the key component to ending child marriage because an enlightened and educated girl would acquire the abilities to stand against any form of social injustices as well as fight for her rights.
“Ending Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) requires multi-stakeholder efforts from governments, cooperating partners, cultural and religious institutions and the media to take action towards the elimination of the harmful practices,” added Minister Phiri.