Chief Kalindawalo said a lot still needs to be done to stop early marriages.
“It is very shameful for a country like Zambia to be among the 20 leading countries that have a high prevalence of early marriages.Where have we gone wrong?” he asked.
Chief Kalindawalo said this in a speech read for him by chief Mumbi at the end of a one day stakeholders consultative meeting on early child marriages organized by Plan Zambia in Chipata.
He said there was need for both government and traditional leaders to create an enabling environment which could assist the girl child to learn and remove illiteracy in them through education.
Earlier Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo who was represented by Chadiza District Commissioner George Phiri said Zambia had a high rate of early child marriages.
“Zambia is among the top twenty countries with the highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world. The 2013-2014 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey found that child marriage was more common among girls than boys: 17% of girls aged 15-19 are married compared to only 1% of boys of the same age group. The practice disproportionally affects, and has affected Zambian females, as 42% of women aged 20-49 report having married before age 18, compared to 4.2% of men,” Kasolo said.