Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Forced sex camps prepare girls for child marriage

22 May 2015, 10:37

Casablanca - Girls as young as eight in Mozambique and Zambia are forced to go to camps where they are shown how to please a man in bed in order to prepare them for married life, activists said at an international conference on ending child marriage.

These sexual initiations begin once menstruation starts and sometimes involve sticks being inserted inside the girls, Persilia Muianga of international aid agency World Vision said.

She added that some mothers force young daughters to sleep with a man in the belief this can bring on menstruation.

Anglican priest Jackson Jones Katete said initiations in Zambia happen among girls between the ages of eight and 13, and may involve girls being cut by women for not performing sexual movements correctly.

"You ... pay these (elderly) women to do this torturing to your child," he said, adding that men do not want to marry girls unless they have been initiated.

"Immediately the girls come out of the camp, they are saying ... you are now ready for sex. And then the men come ... and then they begin to do the betrothals."

The training, which can last a week and is shrouded in secrecy, also teaches girls about hygiene, domestic duties and how to conduct themselves in the community, Muianga said, adding that community leaders fine parents if they do not take their daughters to the initiations.


Muianga, a child protection expert, said the sexual age of consent in Mozambique is 12 and many girls have babies very early, putting their lives at risk.

Serious childbirth injuries such as fistulas are a big problem because so many girls have babies before their bodies are ready, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during the conference in the Moroccan city Casablanca.

Nearly half of girls in Mozambique and more than 40 percent in Zambia are married before they turn 18, even though child marriage is illegal in both countries.

Bride prices paid to the girl's family drive early marriage in poor rural areas, Muianga said.

Read Also: Internet shaming could land you in jail

She said World Vision is training church leaders to tackle issues around early initiations and child marriage, and will help develop a similar initiative for Muslim communities.

Katete, who is director of the Anglican Street Children's Programme in Zambia, said church leaders carry great authority in his country and have a role to play in addressing initiations and child marriage with their congregations.

He added that keeping girls in school is crucial for fighting early marriage, but most rural communities do not have schools nearby and teachers in these regions are usually men, which sends girls the signal that only boys deserve education.

"We are now saying that you should build schools in villages and have female teachers there as well who can act as role models."

The three-day conference ending Thursday is hosted by Girls Not Brides, a global partnership committed to eradicating child marriage which affects some 720 million women worldwide.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...