Studies indicate that girls who marry later and delay pregnancy increase their chances of staying healthier, better their education and build a better life for themselves and their families. However, girls that get married at a young age face a number of challenges such as complications during pregnancy and childbirth, leading to conditions of fistula. From the 29th of May 2016 to 3rd June 2016, the Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development conducted public hearings in Mashonaland Central Province, pursuant to the need to understand the challenges posed by early child marriages. This report provides the committee's major observations, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
The Committee's public hearings were guided by the following objectives:
- To assess the extent of child marriages in Mashonaland Central Province;
- To gather the views and opinions from the members of the public on the factors promoting child marriages in the province; and
- To gather views of communities on measures that may be adopted to curb the high incidences of child marriages in Mashonaland Central.