The judgement was a befitting highlight to the special day that followed. But many cases of child abuse are going unreported in Zimbabwe. Girl Child Network Worldwide Chief Executive Officer, Betty Makoni, told The Zimbabwean “many harmful cultural practices will not stop and we are looking at a huge loss of life – as bad as any war.”
Young girls are particularly disadvantaged by lack of fair opportunities and access to education. Where African girls do have access to education, they are overburdened by domestic roles that hinder them from concentrating on their studies. Makoni said many were “mothers” at an early stage in their lives because of the range of domestic chores they manage.
“Girls have double tragedy. They are women and girls at the same time and so their problems are more complex. What is most urgent is to ensure harmful traditions like child marriages are eliminated,” she said.