Girl Empowerment and Child Marriage: Empowering girls to prevent and end child marriage in Zambia
Abstract: Child marriage is human rights violation that violates the rights of a girl child and robs her of her innocence. It is a widespread social problem that cuts across the globe.The purpose of the research was to investigate the significance of using empowerment as a strategy towards preventing and ending child marriage in Zambia. The research was a qualitative study that focused on Plan International Zambia and its empowerment programmes. The total number of respondents was 22 comprised of 4 Plan Zambia members of staff, 8 community child protection unit members and 10 girl children between the ages of 13 and 18. 5 out of these girl children were former child brides. 3 focused group discussions were conducted and 4 telephone and skype interviews were conducted. Four theories used in the research were intersectionality, empowerment, capability approach and the human rights based approach. Main findings from the research reveal that empowering a girl child is an important strategy towards preventing and ending child marriage. The study also revealed poverty and lack of education opportunities are some of the causes of child marriage. Lack of education opportunities and conflicting pieces of legislation were revealed to be a challenges against combating child marriage.
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