Causes of Child Marriages in Zimbabwe: A Case of Mashonaland Province in Zimbabwe

Cynthia Dzimiri, Plaxedes Chikunda, Viola Ingwani

Abstract

Increasing concerns on the welfare of a girl child world wide is observed and yet there are significant matters still to be discussed. In addition to all the causes raised by other researchers one of the objectives of this study is to focus on the impact of the legal systems that are already in place on child marriage. This is elucidated by a sample of thirty (30) participants in one of the districts within Mashonaland Province of Zimbabwe. This study examines the reasons why child marriage is on the rise in this province and what the law, parents, teachers and the children themselves say about it which seems to be a dearth study in this issue. The study also focuses on the solutions to this disturbing issue. The researchers employed descriptive survey as a way of collecting evidence, analysing and reporting on the findings (Chiromo, 2009) and triangulation which refers to the use of multiple sources of data ( Palmer and Quinn, 2003 in Chinomona and Tam, 2013 ). Various independent sources of evidence including interviews, focus group discussion and document analysis provided the data. Data collection and analysis were done at the same time for accuracy’s sake. The results indicate that the major causes of child marriage in this province in particular are religious beliefs and practices as also indicated in the research by Masinire (2015). In addition to that the following were also highlighted as other factors that contribute to child marriage: lack of serious sex education in schools due to cultural beliefs and practices, socio-economic background of learners, early socialisation, parental expectations and level of education and also lack of adequate knowledge on the children‘s rights and other legal systems that support them. Shortcomings of these policies are discussed and recommendations are given before paving way forward for other researchers. 

Keywords

Child; Child marriage; Human rights; Child rights

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