Exploring factors that perpetuate child marriage and strategies to prevent them: a case study of Nyangu village in Rufunsa district, Lusaka province.
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Child marriage remains a concern globally, more so in developing countries, including Zambia. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that perpetuate child marriage and strategies to prevent them: A case study of Nyangu Village in Rufunsa District, Lusaka Province. The main objectives of the study included; to explore the existence of child marriages within Nyangu village of Rufunsa District, in Zambia; to identify unique factors that foster child marriages in families and communities in Nyangu village; to identify gaps that are in marriage laws in Zambia; and to determine strategies that can prevent child marriages in families and communities in Nyangu village. This research applied a qualitative approach. The study sample included a total of twenty three participants; sixteen under eighteen participants made up of fourteen girls and two boys; one Headwoman, One headmaster of the primary school of the community, and five parents made up of community leaders, two male and three female. Purposive sampling was used to determine the sample for the study. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussions. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The study revealed that child marriages existed in Nyangu village and were influenced by factors common and generational. These factors included poverty, lack of education, influence from parents and culture, gaps between the two legal systems, lack of developmental programs, and early pregnancy. The study recommended the government of Zambia harmonising the two national laws; the government of Zambia offer holistic resources support towards learners to support the free education policy; improving the lives of families in the village through the promotion of tourism in the village and surrounds, as it is located at the border of three countries and in close proximity to the Luangwa River and national parks; lastly, to improve reporting systems and implementation of the police service in the village. Key words: Child marriage, education, early pregnancy, poverty, laws of Zambia.
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