By Style Correspondent
Member of the National Assembly for Norton Temba Mliswa says the economic hardships in the country is facing is leaving the girl child vulnerable to abuse.
Mliswa said the abuse young girls are facing is destroying their confidence, leaving them with no hope.
“Economic challenges that we are facing are making our girls prone to abuse by older men and sometimes their parents, hence putting them at risk of HIV transmission. Whenever there was a drought it was common to hear stories of young girls being married off to older men so that the family could get maize or millet in order to survive. Given the drought that we are currently experiencing I will not be shocked to hear that the practice is still happening. such behaviour destroys the hopes and dreams of young girls and women,” said Mliswa.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa Chikoka said young girls, especially those in the rural areas are vulnerable to abuse and early marriages.
“You will find that a lot of abuse is happening in the rural districts because a lot of the young girls do not have the confidence and sometimes they are abused just for $10 that they would have been given by an older man and they will do whatever they are asked to do,” said Chikoka.
“These girls are vulnerable, very vulnerable so we need to create systems that will give them confidence and in rural areas this is where it is critically needed,” she added.
Mliswa and Chikoka were speaking in Norton at the launch of My Gender Equal Kit which was prepared by SAfAIDS. The kit is a response to HIV and GBV prevention, teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions and promotion of gender equality practices.