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Zimbabwe: Early marriage outlawed

Zimbabwe: Early marriage outlawed


The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe has delivered its long-awaited ruling, imposing a ban on the marriage of children who are below the age of 18.

The court with immediate effect outlawed child marriage and struck off the statutes section 22(1) of the Marriage Act ,which for decades, had allowed children under the age of 18 years to get into marriage.

The details said section 22(1) of the Marriage Act was inconsistent with section 78(1) of the Constitution which sets 18 years as the minimum age of marriage in Zimbabwe.

The court ordered that “No person, male or female, in Zimbabwe may enter into any marriage, including an unregistered customary law union or any other union, including one arising out of religion or a religious rite, before attaining the age of 18.”

“This is a great day for gender equality, women’s rights and children’s rights and the fight against poverty,” Veritas said, a local NGO which sponsored the application.

Veritas provides information on the work of the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Laws of Zimbabwe and makes public domain information widely available.