Demand birth certificates before weddings – call

RELIGIOUS leaders in the country have been advised to demand and verify birth certificates for the would-be spouses before wedding them, as one of the measures to control early pregnancies and child marriages.

The advice came from members of the Youth Forum, Children’s cabinet representatives, prominent elders, religious leaders and councillors, who attended a campaign session to eradicate early pregnancies and child marriages in Singida District Council.

The meeting was organised and sponsored by Action Aid.

The issue arose when some of the participants pointed out that the Laws of Marriage Act of 1971 which allow 14 years old girls to be married on the consent of the court and at 15 years on parental consent encouraged early pregnancies and child marriages, calling for viable solutions to be put in place.

They listed other effective measures in controlling the vice as parents breaking the silence between themselves and their children, by explaining to them vividly the consequences of early pregnancies and child marriages especially when they reach puberty age.

They further wanted reproductive health education be provided to young people, members of the community and leaders to work together in condemning acts of rape and sodomy. They also argued that cases involving child rape should be brought to the law enforcement organs forthwith, instead of resolving them amicably at home and the police, doctors and judiciary should do justice in the cases related to child abuse.

Inspector of Police, Damasi Mwakisambe from the Gender desk told the gathering that many incidents of rape and sodomy are committed by close relatives including parents. He further said that the Bajaj drivers were also involved the cases whereby most victims are the young girls who are usually subjected to gang rape especially at night.

“I am asking girls to be more careful when looking for a Bajaj to transport them home or elsewhere because as of today, we have so many cases pending cases concerning such nasty incidents,” he disclosed.

Singida District Executive Director (DED), Ms Esta Chaula insisted of parents/guardians role on proper child upbringing as part of solution to check the problem of child marriage.

Closing the session, the Chairman for Singida District Council, Mr Elia Digha noted that many incidents concerning rape or sodomy were caused by drug users, people who opt for quick riches and the idlers.

Related Articles

Back to top button