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Dr Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda

It is common cause that child marriage is a gross form of violence against girls with life long impact. It is rape, sexual exploitation, trafficking and even modern form of slavery. The international law law has established that a child under the age of 18 can not marry or enter into a union, and this has been repeated in various treaties and resolutions of the United Nations. In Africa, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Maputo Protocol on Rights of Women in Africa is very clear on the age of marriage as 18 with no claw back clauses.  Equally, Zimbabwe’s Marriage Law Chapter 5.17 has aligned with regional and international norms and even criminalised the practice.

Annually, the world brings into sharp focus range of issues and actions related to violence against women and girls, during the 16 days of activism which runs from 25th of November to 10th of December annually. The global theme for 2014 is Unite: Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.  

Therefore as the Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage, our call is for people to invest in mental health interventions for girls at risk, those who are survivors and those healing and rebuilding their lives. This is one way of breaking the cycle of this form of violence, and building lasting and sustainable solutions.

The Global Network on Mental Health and Child Marriage, together with UCL MARCH-ZIM Project, Rozaria Memorial Trust and Women’s University in Africa are collaborating on a research on mapping risks and resilience for mental health interventions in Zimbabwe. We therefore seek to draw inspiration from this series of articles and podcasts for the 16 days. The series is intended to give voice, visibility and agency to girls, young women at risk, who have experienced child marriage or those who have dedicated advocacy and research work in the area.

The objectives of the series are:

  • Increase visibility through story-telling

  • Co-creation of solutions with the rights holders

  • How to go to scale and or replicate the experiences.

We have 16 authors posting each day. Most are young researchers and survivors of child marriage.

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda,

Executive Director,

Rozaria Memorial Trust

Dr Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is a human rights lawyer. She is the founder and Executive Director of Rozaria Memorial Trust. She served as African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage 2014 -2022. She is co-founder of the Global Network on Child Marriage and Mental Health, and co-principal investigator of the MARCH-ZIM study

Day 1: About Us
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