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Wrath After Zimbabwean Girl, 14, Dies Giving Birth At Church Shrine

In Zimbabwe, police are probing the death of a 14-year-old girl during delivery, a case that has outraged people and human rights advocates.

Memory Machaya is said to have died in a Christian shrine in Marange’s eastern area 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 organization said it “notes with profound concern” and “strongly condemns” reports regarding the death’s circumstances.

The UN stated in a statement on Saturday that “the present trend of unsolved incidents of violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe, including minor marriages, cannot continue with impunity.”

The girl’s death on July 15 has brought attention to Zimbabwe’s Apostolic Church’s practice of child marriage, which frequently rejects medicine and medical care.

According to local media, her family stated that the kid had survived the birth and was doing well.

Police and the country’s official gender committee are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and subsequent burial.

More than 57,000 people have signed an online petition demanding “justice for Memory Machaya.”

Everjoice Win, a Zimbabwean feminist activist, said it was past time for people to exert pressure on those “with the capacity to enforce the law, or establish new laws.”

She stated on Twitter that women and girls were “not regarded as completely human, with unique rights… to manage our own bodies.”

Zimbabwean females are legally permitted to marry at the age of 18, but sexual consent is at the age of 16.
However, some families think that child marriage may help them financially.

Many young brides anticipate that marriage will allow them to continue their education. Young girls, on the other hand, are more likely to become pregnant shortly after or to be kept at home to help with domestic duties.

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