Seventy girls have been impregnated after being enticed by men involved in mining activities in chieftainess Mumpanshya’s area in Rufunsa.
Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development national coordinator Nelson Banda said the influx of young men from urban areas who are conducting mining activities in the chiefdom is threatening the future of girls. Mr Banda said that, because of poverty, girls in the area cling to young men who venture into mining activities in the area.
Mr Banda said many girls have fallen out of school in the chiefdom sayinng most affected areas are Kamwesha, Shumungo and chakenyenya.
“It is saddening to see attitudes of some parents benefiting from the sexual activities of young girls who are pushing them into early marriages because of high poverty as they feel girls should not be educated,”Mr Banda said.
He said high levels of early marriages are a serious threat to the lives of girls.
He said there no facilities to offer sexual and reproductive health counseling services to the adolescent boys and girls in Rufunsa.
To redeem the situation in the area, Mr Banda said his organization has trained 495 community members to create more awareness in sexual and reproductive health and rights in Rufunsa district.
Mr Banda also said that lack of a magistrate court in the area is hindering the fight against gender based violence.
“While remarkable progress has been made to reach out to the community with sensitization activities to change attitudes of the communities to desist from marrying off the girls, there is need to enact by-laws to ban child marriages,” he said.