“Give Us Books, Not Husbands”
The Women Advocacy Project has participated in three successful campaigns advocating for the elimination of child marriage in Zimbabwe and informing the community about the negative effects of child marriage on impacted victims. Girls marched with WAP to call for an end to child marriage as part of the “Give Us Books Not Husbands” Child Marriage Abolition Campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development (Government of Zimbabwe).
The first two campaigns were held on July 23rd, 2016 in Hopley and October 14th, 2016 in Waterfalls, and the most recent event was held on May 25, 2018, in the capital of Harare. Over 400 individuals participated, including students from the Upper View College and Denmark Training Services, teachers, community leaders, government officials, police officers, journalists and of course, the victims of child marriage themselves. Not only did these participants march, but they also petitioned the government to uphold the newly reformed Marriage Act, which makes child marriage illegal in Zimbabwe.
The event, which was simultaneously held on Africa Day, called on the African continent as a whole to unite against child marriage. The campaign itself included a 3K walk, as well as performances and speeches that spread awareness about the dangers of early marriage. Notable speakers included Constance Mugari, Executive Director of WAP; Earnest Chimbodza, the Provincial Development Director from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development; Daanti Franciskas Meyers, a student researcher from the Netherlands working with WAP; Akenga Dickson Mnyaci, WAP’s Fundraising Programme Officer, and more.