In its bid to curb the high rate of early marriages in the country, the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique on Monday, approved a law to combat child marriage by girls
Edson Macuacua, Head of the Commission of Human Rights, Constitutional Affairs and Legality, who lauded the parliament for the legislation, told the parliamentarians that with the law, there would be a reduction in the number of girls dropping out of school and fewer girls forced to marry at an early age.
“It will ensure full growth and development of the girls’ personality, which contributes to a more just society, where boys and girls enjoy equal opportunities,’’ said Macuacua.
Mozambique is among the top ten countries with the highest rate of early marriage where 48 percent of women got married before they were 18 years.
The law is coming about a month when a court in South Sudan annulled a child marriage, in a rare legal case that activists say could signal a turning point for women’s rights in the conservative country.
The marriage of a 16-year-old girl, the daughter of a cattle herdsman, to a 28-year-old man was deemed illegal by a court in Kapoeta according to the information minister Simon Karlo
The girl’s father, uncle and groom were each sentenced to three years in prison for their role in arranging the marriage.
Early marriage is a deeply rooted tradition in many African communities, perpetuated by poverty, lack of education and economic opportunities, and social customs that limit the rights of women and girls.