Govt To FINALLY Outlaw Child Marriages
The government has said that it will soon be introducing a new law which will make it illegal for girls who are under 18 years of age to get married. Under the current laws, girls can get married at the age of 16 although the Constitutional Court outlawed marriage for females under the age of 18.
The the new Marriages Act which will be introduced into Parliament soon will also consolidate the country’s two marriage laws — the Marriages Act 5:11 and the Customary Marriages Act and will also decriminalise the deliberate transmission of HIV.
Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said,
The Bill is ready and we will be taking it to Cabinet soon. . . Among some of the issues, the law will deal with is that court judgment which ruled that one cannot marry before the age of 18 — we have put it in the law.
The other issue the law deals with is Section 26 of the Constitution, which speaks about consent and we need to give effect to it. Effectively, it will provide the minimum age of consent.
Effectively, the Bill will outlaw child marriages, which has been a very contentious issue in recent times. It will also take care of issues that have to do with gender equality, which we are aligning with Section 3 of the Constitution.
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