Commonwealth praises President Lungu and the Zambian Government for efforts to eliminate Child, Early and Forced Marriages

Press Statement

Commonwealth praises President Lungu and the Zambian Government for efforts to eliminate Child, Early and Forced Marriages

23/02/2016-London-The Commonwealth has praised President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the Zambian Government for showing leadership in the promotion of girls rights and elimination of Child, Early and Forced Marriages (CEFM).

During a round table discussion on ‘Ending Child-Marriages in the Commonwealth co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde, High Commissioner for Zambia and Deputy High Commissioner for Canada at Canada House last week, deputy Commonwealth Secretary- General Dr. Josephine Ojiambo said that President Lungu has shown commitment to ensuring that vice can be contained and fully eliminated to give a brighter future to the youth and empower them.

She applauded the work that Zambia has done and made special mention of the active participation of Zambia at the first Women’s summit at the CHOGM in Malta in 2015 October where the CEFM was discussed in details.

“Zambia has through and through shown leadership in the promotion of the girls rights and elimination of CEFM. The Zambian President has shown commitment to ensuring that this vice can be contained and fully eliminated to give a brighter future to the youth and empower them,” she said.

And High Commissioner Chikonde said, gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls has been and will be mainstreamed in Zambia’s development strategies.

He said the Zambian government continues to ensure that the needs of girls and women are taken into account and their voices heard at all levels of community, national planning and decision making, whereby their effective participation is ensured in the political, economic and social life of society.

“The preamble of the recently adopted Republican constitution, which was assented to by His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu on 5th January, 2015 recognises gender equality. Thus article 2. provision inter-alia states that the people of Zambia’ confirm the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political , legal and social order,” he said.

in 2013, the Zambian government launched a national-wide campaign to end child marriage, spearheaded by the Ministry of Chiefs and Tradition Affairs, the campaign prioritised engagement with tradition leaders and law reforms.

The Government of Zambia is also taking steps to put child marriages at the forefront of the regional and International agenda. In November 2015, Zambia co-hosted the first-ever African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage.

Issued by

Abigail Chaponda, First Secretary Press and Public Relations

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