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New legal case brings attention to child marriage in rural Zambia

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Summary of story from WNN, price August 5, viagra 100mg 2011

Had it not been for the prompt action of a concerned community, thumb 15-year-old Evelyn Mwale from Zambia would still be trapped in a forced marriage.

Married off at 14, she was told she had to leave school to care for her new husband, 45,  and his family.

Although many countries have child protection laws that set the minimum age of marriage to 18 years without parental consent, a number of countries continue to struggle with the enforcement of these laws, including Zambia, where the legal age for marriage (without consent) is 21.

With a parent or guardian’s consent, marriage of girls between the age of 16-20 in Zambia is allowed but it is completely prohibited for anyone under the age of 15.

But child marriages are commonly found in isolated rural areas where the level of law enforcement is challenged and the focus on public education is low. It is usually frowned upon in more urban areas.

The criminal case for Evelyn Mwale’s forced marriage is now progressing toward its final legal decision.

Moved from the courts in Lusaka to the Magistrate court in Kabwe where the crime occurred, the case also includes additional separate charges made against those who arranged the illegal marriage.

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