In a bid to protect girls and fight child marriage, the South African President Jacob Zuma has made a pronouncement, which outlaws child marriage, declaring that any person who marries a girl below the age of 22 will face 50 years in prison, and anyone who aids and abates a child marriage will also be convicted.
Child marriage remains a huge problem in many African countries, with young girls being forced to drop out of school, which puts their future at risk.
n sub-Saharan Africa, about 40 percent of girls reportedly marry before the age of 18 and numerous countries have committed to ending child marriages.
The declaration follows a countrywide sensitization campaign, which was launched last month. The government declared July, “the month of ending child marriage” and SA First Lady led the African Union campaign called End Child Marriage in the country.