Chiefs Say No to Child Marriage

The Zambian government has seen a decline in child marriage with the help of more than 200 chiefs, who can have more impact on people than laws.

Although marriage below the age of 21 is officially illegal in Zambia, more than 40% of girls in this southern African country are married before they turn 18, according to UNFPA—a rate that has remained steady for more than a decade.

Most Zambian chiefs, about 10% of whom are women, have now resorted to punishments such as fines to deter parents from marrying off their children early.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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