NGOCC Okays new marriage age


By Nation Reporter

The Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is contented with the proposed new marriage age as contained in the Bill of Rights, says Chairperson Sarah Longwe.

Ms. Longwe said the women’s movement wanted the marriage age maintained at 21 years but that the proposed age of 19 years in the Bill of Rights was still okay because it was in line with the medical situation.

“If you engage in marriage, that means you also engage in sex which might result into pregnancy, the body at that stage is ready to have a baby normally without having complications such as fistula, bleeding or death,” said Ms. Longwe.

Ms. Longwe said at age 19, a person was an adult ready to take care of the child because that individual psychologically mature to appreciate the child.

“It is not a child giving birth to another child,” she said.

Ms. Longwe who is chairperson of the Grand Coalition said, the proposed age was in line with the global principles of which Zambia was party to.

“We welcome this Bill of Rights and that is why as a women’s movement we have been fighting for this Bill of Rights,” said Ms. Longwe.

Ms. Longwe further said that the women’s movement and the Grand Coalition wanted the Constitution to be accepted as a new Constitution and then do amendments afterwards but that it was Government that started amending a draft before it was accepted.

“Even the grade 12 issue would have been taken care of if first we had accepted the document and then start amending it,” she said.