This policy brief examines trends in child marriage in Zambia at the sub regional level, examines the legal and policy context, and makes recommendations to combat the practice. Specific findings include:
- Child marriage has declined by 25% between 2007 and 2015, and is now at 31%
- Child marriage affects girls significantly more than boys
- There is significant regional variance in rates of child marriage, with rates highest in the North of the country. Interestingly, the regions with lowest rates of child marriage have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy
- Multiple definitions of "child" and "marriage" make understanding child marriage more difficult, and the laws governing it harder to implement
The brief recommends that conflicting customary and statutory laws be harmonised to minimise confusion and make it easier for laws to be enforced. It also suggests that policies should focus on keeping girls in school for longer, providing safe spaces, and that more research is necessary to understand the drivers of child marriage in Zambia.