In observance of the International Day of the Girl Child, the Zambian government has pledged to take stringent measures to protect girls from all forms of abuse.
Addressing the audience at the event held in Mongu, Western Province, Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms. Doreen Mwamba, acknowledged that girls, in particular, face numerous types of abuses, including defilement, early marriages, alcohol and substance abuse, child exploitation, sexual abuse, and abductions, among others.
Under the theme “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Wellbeing,” Minister Mwamba emphasized the government’s commitment to enforcing existing laws to safeguard girls.
She highlighted that the recently enacted Children’s Code Act No. 12 of 2022 provides a robust legal framework for taking punitive measures against perpetrators of various forms of abuse against girls.
Mwamba stated, “Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years but also as they mature into women.”
She added that with effective support during their adolescent years, girls possess the potential to shape the world, becoming empowered individuals and future workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household leaders, and political figures.
Speaking on behalf of girls nationwide, Josephine Kachama emphasized the need for the government to enact and enforce laws aimed at protecting girls from abuse.
She recognized the government’s efforts, including the enactment of the Children’s Code Act and the launch of the National Child Safeguarding framework, as positive steps towards ensuring the rights and protection of girls in the country.
The Zambian government’s commitment to ensuring the well-being and rights of girls reflects the broader global recognition of the importance of empowering girls and protecting them from all forms of abuse.