The Zimbabwe National Junior Council Association kicked off in Chinhoyi on Thursday with a call on the government to do more to end early child marriages.
Speaking at the event on the continuing trend of child marriages in the country, Zimbabwe National Junior Council Association president, Shingirirai Chikazhe, said her council is concerned that early marriages are taking place in huge numbers, especially now as some parents and guardians seek to offload children they are struggling to look after as harsh economic conditions persist.
She said it is “inhuman” for guardians to do that and for elder men to take young girls to be their wives and in the process creating health problems like fistula obstetrics.
Another girl child, Tatenda Phiri, who is attending the three-day conference, said early child marriages can be eliminated altogether if national leaders and policy makers led by example and stayed away from marrying young girls.
Tatenda said tight policies are needed to stem the practice.
Chinhoyi Mayor Test Michaels concurred, adding that national leaders and community elders should respect the country's laws and protect young girls from male predators and criminals.
The National Junior Council Association conference is being held under the theme “Promoting ZimAsset to Capacitate the Youth and Children at Local Government."
Fistula obstetrics is a medical condition associated with damages to the birth canal and related organs while giving birth.