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​A stop to child brides in Zimbabwe

The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe has outlawed child marriages, deliberating that no one may be married before reaching the age of 18. The ruling is historic for a country where 31 per cent of girls marry before reaching the age of majority. The decision puts an end to a judicial case introduced in 2015, when two young former wives, Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi, asked the court to declare the law on matrimony a violation of the fundamental constitution of Zimbabwe. One little girl out of three in developing countries marries before she reaches the age of 18, and one in 9 before the age of 15. The data from 2000 to 2011 testify that more than 60 per cent of women between the ages of 20 and 24 who live in countries with the highest percentage of child marriages married before they were 18 years old: Niger (75%), Chad (72%), Bangladesh (66%), Guinea (63%) and Central African Republic (61%). In the world today more than 700 million girls were married before their 18th year, and about 250 million contracted marriage before they reached the age of 15. 

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 23, 2019

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