Zimbabwe’s Court outlaws child marriage after 2 victims sued the government

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Yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court outlawed child marriage after two former child brides took the government to court in a ground-breaking case to challenge the practice that is rife in
the country.

Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi asked for child marriage to be declared illegal and unconstitutional, saying it was a form of child abuse which trapped girls in lives of poverty and suffering.

The court ruled that as of January 20, 2016, no one in Zimbabwe may enter into any marriage, including customary law unions, before the age of 18, and struck down a section of the Marriage Act which allows girls to marry at 16 but boys at 18.

Nearly a third of girls in Zimbabwe marry before they are 18 and 4% before they turn 15, depriving them of an education, increasing the likelihood of sexual violence, and putting them at risk of death or serious injury in childbirth.

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