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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zambia leader urges accelerated action
to end child marriages in Africa    

LUSAKA, (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu said on Tuesday that ending child marriages in Africa by 2030 requires serious commitments by leaders and other stakeholders.

In remarks delivered during a high-level side event on the margins of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Zambian leader said African leaders needed to renew their commitments to ending the scourge.

“Ending child marriages by 2030 will require a range of action, including making sure girls have access to quality education, legal reforms and changing traditional harmful practices,” Lungu said, according to a statement released by his office.

Integration of activities aimed at fighting child marriages as well as increasing budgetary allocations to the fight were vital if the battle was to be won, he said.

Zambia hosted the event in collaboration with the Canadian government and with support from the UN Women, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the African Union Commission.

The event, which was also attended by Malawian President Peter Mutharika and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni, was organized for leaders to renew their commitments and accelerate efforts to end child marriages in Africa by 2030.

It also provided an opportunity for the leaders to renew existing partnerships to end child marriages ahead of the second African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa.

According to UN figures, almost 750 million women and girls alive today in the world were married before their 18th birthday while in West and Central Africa, where the scourge is common, more than four in 10 girls were married before age 18.

While acknowledging that child marriages is slowly declining worldwide, the UN warns that if the trend continues due to population growth, the total number of child brides will remain around 750 million in 2030, with a third of them being in Africa. 

             

 

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