An assessment of child marriages in Zimbabwe.
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In many societies, there is silence on issues of child marriages as they embrace it as part of their culture. The study was conducted among the girls age 15-17 years to assess the prevalence, patterns, factors and consequences of child marriages in Zimbabwe. The specific objectives were to: assess the levels and patterns of child marriages; identify the factors underlying child marriages among the girls age 15-17 years; assess the impact of child marriages; and, explore interventions that may curb child marriages in Zimbabwe. The study used the quantitative data from the 2014. Multiple Indicator Custer Survey (MICS) and the Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), conducted in three districts from 3 provinces, namely Bulilimamangwe South District, Makoni District and Mudzi District in Matabeleland South, Manicaland and Mashonaland East Provinces, respectively. The study adapted the Ecological Systems Theory (EST), developed by Bronfenbrenner in 1979. The 2014 MICS covered a total of 1,881 girls age 15-17 years from all the ten provinces of the country. The study findings show that more than 1 in 11 of the girls age 15-17 years were currently married/in union and were largely found in Mashonaland Central and Manicaland Provinces. The groups who were more vulnerable to child marriages were the girls in the rural areas, those who had low educational attainment, in poor households and those affiliated to Traditional and Apostolic Sect religions. The results also show that married girls have limited access to mass media compared with the unmarried girls. The girls who were married were at higher risk of early childbearing and had limited access to better reproductive health services. The study came up with a number of recommendations at different levels i.e. the individual, the household, the organisational, the community and the national levels.
Additional Citation InformationChigiji, H. (2018). An assessment of child marriages in Zimbabwe. [Unpublished masters thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe