FORUM for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) has called on Government to consider disseminating copies of the Re-entry Policy to various area for girls to remain in school.
FAWEZA executive director Costern Kajele said in an interview that currently the policy is mostly being implemented in Lusaka but teachers and girls in rural areas are not benefiting from it as they do not have copies of the document to educate them.
“We are calling on Government to print enough copies for distribution to rural areas as well because that is where the problem of teen pregnancies and school drop-outs is high,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kajele said Government should also consider involvement of religious and traditional leaders in implementation of the National Strategy on Ending Child Marriages.
He said similarly there must be a clear roll-out plan for the National Strategy, adding that Government should also ensure adequate budget allocation for the implementation exercise.
Mr Kajele said as traditional and religious leaders are in direct contact with the people, they are in a position to understand the problems in their communities and also have solutions to them.
He also said since the leaders command a lot of respect from the people, they can easily influence their decisions to do away with certain customs that promote child marriages.
“Religious leaders uphold certain biblical principles which, when instilled in the people, they could contribute to the girl-child shunning practices that promote child marriages.
Similarly, traditional leaders are custodians of tradition and customs. Therefore, they are able to influence the people to stop practices that put the girl-child in harm’s way. Parents involved in this vice should be punished,” Chief Madzimawe said.