Outrage as a 14-year old child wife dies while giving birth in a church
In Zimbabwe, police are probing the death of a 14-year-old girl during childbirth, a case that has outraged locals and human rights groups.
Memory Machaya is said to have died at a religious shrine in Marange’s eastern region last month.
The case has brought to light the exploitation of children, since she was allegedly pushed to drop out of school in order to marry.
The United Nations has called on the government to declare child marriage a crime and put an end to it.
The organisation said it “notes with deep concern” and “condemns strongly” reports regarding the death’s circumstances.
The UN stated in a statement on Saturday that “The current trend of unresolved cases of violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe, including marriages of minors, cannot continue with impunity,”
The girl’s death on July 15 has brought attention to Zimbabwe’s Apostolic Church’s practise of child marriage, which frequently rejects medicine and hospital treatment.
According to local media, her family stated that the kid had survived the birth and was doing well.
Police and the country’s state gender committee are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and subsequent burial.
So far, approximately 60,000 people have signed an online petition demanding “justice for Memory Machaya”
Zimbabwean females are legally allowed to marry at the age of 18, although sexual consent is at the age of 16.
However, some families believe that child marriage might help them financially.
Many young brides believe that marriage will allow them to continue their education. Young girls, on the other hand, are more likely to become pregnant soon after or to be kept at home to help with domestic tasks.