Policy Brief: Still a long way to eradicate practices that endanger women & girls’ lives – Zambia
Female genital mutilation, early and forced child marriages and unsafe abortion are harmful practices and multi-faceted socio-cultural and endemic Human Rights violation which highly impacts the physical, psychological, emotional, and intellectual development of girls and women. These practices often relegate girls and women to inferior positions in the society with respect to decision making. Instead of using culture to progress societies, in most cases it is used as an excuse to continue such practices that perpetuate various forms of abuse – sexual, physical, and psychological.
Zambian Girls and women who voice out concerning harmful practices are subject to social stigma and at times they are referred to traditional counsellors for disciplinary. The prevalence of child marriage and unsafe abortion destabilises the health, education, socio-economic well-being and the general security girls and women as well as that of their families. The government in partnership with the civil society and relevant role players have a duty to draft and use practical and effective legal, policy and programmatic measures to stop early child and forced marriage and increase access to safe abortion.
This policy brief draws upon the legislative framework and research material related to FMG, early and forced child marriages, and access to safe abortion. It also puts forward recommendations to address challenges, gaps, and limitations in relation to legal and regulatory frameworks and advocacy on child marriage.