Partnerships:APanacea to end Child Marriages in Bindura and Mount Darwin Districts of Mashonaland Central province, Zimbabwe

Partnerships:APanacea to end Child Marriages in Bindura and Mount Darwin Districts of Mashonaland Central province, Zimbabwe

ABSTRACT: Child marriages have become a thorny issue in Zimbabwe even though the country‟s 2013 Constitution has clauses which try to curtail such abuses. Zimbabwe‟s Mashonaland Central province is no exception, as the phenomenon is rampant in the province‟s two districts of Bindura and Mount Darwin. This research is an effort to establish the reasons why children engage in marriages in Bindura and Mount Darwin districts of Mashonaland Central province. Using the phenomenological research design, the study sought to: establish the causes of child marriages; analyze the gender and ages of children most affected by child marriages; and to analyze the current mechanisms in place to protect children against child marriages in the two districts. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches with interviews and questionnaires administered to a sample of 66 participants. The findings were that the causes of child marriages included harmful religious practices, poor policies, poverty, lack of access to education, and death of a child‟s parents.The study further found that on gender basis, females are affectedmore by child marriages as compared to males. In addition, there was lack of partnership between the government and other organizations in the fight to end child marriages. The major recommendation of the study is that the government should enter into partnership with other organizations in the province to deal with the problem of child marriages. Also, income generating projects and civic education should be put in place to empower children and promote their rights. Sound guidance and counselling services should beproffered to assist the affected children.
KEY WORDS:child; child marriages; child rights, constitution, education.

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