Child marriages in Zambia: a study of casual factors in selected schools in Chipili District Zambia
Kauseni, Besa Delphine
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Child marriage, also referred to as early marriage is an emerging economic and health concerns across the world and remains a widespread problem especially in developing countries including Zambia. Zambia has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world with 31 per cent of women aged 20-24 married by the age of 18. UNICEF (2017) and the situation has not changed much. The study investigated the causal factors of child marriages in selected schools in Chipili District of Luapula province in Zambia among the boys and girls. The main objective of the paper was to investigate the causal factors of child marriages in some selected schools in Chipili district of Luapula province in Zambia. The study followed a mixed study research design and supported by qualitative and quantitative. Focus group discussion guide, questionnaires and later interview guide were used to collect data. A total of fifty participants were involved in the study comprising thirty (30) pupils, ten (10) parents, eighty (8) regular teachers and two (2) administrators. The sampling techniques involved simple random; cluster sampling and purposive sampling were used. Thematic analysis for qualitative and descriptive statistics tools for quantitative were the methods used for data analysis. Convenient sampling was also employed on people who were conveniently available that the researcher met haphazardly who included community members who were subjected to interviews on the causal factors to child marriages. The study findings revealed that the prevalence of child marriages in schools around the district was high according to reports from schools through PTA meetings. The study ascertain that various causal factors led to high prevalence of child marriages but the most prominent ones were high poverty, negative attitude towards girl’s education and peer pressure. The most affected in child marriage were girls. The major recommendation was that the government should come up with programmes that encourage girls to remain in schools as opposed to get married at an early age such as reducing distances to schools, meeting school fees and promotion of sex education in schools.
The University of Zambia