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CHILD MARRIAGES (ZIMBABWE ARRESTS AFTER CHILD BRIDE DIES GIVING BIRTH AT CHURCH SHRINE)

 The UN has condemned the practice of child marriage.

HARARE – Police in Zimbabwe have arrested a 26-year-old man after a teenage girl died during childbirth, in a case that has sparked outrage among citizens and rights activists.

Anna Machaya, 15, is reported to have died and been buried last month at a church shrine in the eastern region of Marange.

Police have also arrested her parents.

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The case has exposed the exploitation of minors, as she was reportedly forced to abandon school to get married.

Anna’s parents are accused of lying about her age and also pledging their nine-year-old daughter to the same man, Hatirarami Momberume.

He faces charges of child rape.

The three accused have not yet commented.

Anna’s death on July 15, days after her birthday, has put the spotlight on the practice of child marriage within Zimbabwe’s popular Apostolic Church, which often rejects medicine and hospital treatment.     

The circumstances that led to Anna’s death and subsequent burial are under investigation by the police and the country’s state gender commission.

An online petition calling for “justice for Memory Machaya,” as she had been mistakenly identified, has so far received more than 92, 000 signatures.

Zimbabwean feminist activist Everjoice Win said it was time for people to pressure those “with the power to uphold the law, or make new laws.”

Women and girls were “not seen as fully human, with individual rights… to control our own bodies” she wrote on Twitter.

In a landmark judgement in 2016, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court banned marriage for both boys and girls under the age of 18. The age of sexual consent is 16.

The United Nations has urged the Zimbabwean government to recognise child marriage as a crime and bring an end to the practice. – BBC.

WTO chief welcomes bias ruling over ‘grandmother’ jibe

BERNE – The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has welcomed a ruling by the Swiss media regulator that found a newspaper headline describing her as a “grandmother” after her appointment to lead the body, was gender-biased.

Aargauer Zeitung newspaper ran the headline: “This grandmother will become the boss of the WTO,” after Okongo-Iweala was appointed in March.

The paper apologised following widespread criticism saying its headline had been “inappropriate and unsuitable.”

Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian-American, is a widely respected Harvard-educated development economist. She served as finance and foreign affairs minister in Nigeria and worked for 25 years at the World Bank.

The 67-year-old is the first African and woman to lead WTO.

She tweeted on Thursday that the Swiss Press Council was right for calling out gender bias and sexism.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the media regulator said that it had been unable to determine if there was racial bias.

“However… it is obvious that if this had been about a male former finance and foreign minister in a country of 200 million people, the headline ‘a grandfather becomes the WTO director-general’ would be inconceivable,” Barron’s news site reported. – BBC.

C

…Zimbabwe arrests after child bride dies giving birth at church shrine

 The UN has condemned the practice of child marriage.

HARARE – Police in Zimbabwe have arrested a 26-year-old man after a teenage girl died during childbirth, in a case that has sparked outrage among citizens and rights activists.

Anna Machaya, 15, is reported to have died and been buried last month at a church shrine in the eastern region of Marange.

Police have also arrested her parents.

The case has exposed the exploitation of minors, as she was reportedly forced to abandon school to get married.

Anna’s parents are accused of lying about her age and also pledging their nine-year-old daughter to the same man, Hatirarami Momberume.

He faces charges of child rape.

The three accused have not yet commented.

Anna’s death on July 15, days after her birthday, has put the spotlight on the practice of child marriage within Zimbabwe’s popular Apostolic Church, which often rejects medicine and hospital treatment.     

The circumstances that led to Anna’s death and subsequent burial are under investigation by the police and the country’s state gender commission.

An online petition calling for “justice for Memory Machaya,” as she had been mistakenly identified, has so far received more than 92, 000 signatures.

Zimbabwean feminist activist Everjoice Win said it was time for people to pressure those “with the power to uphold the law, or make new laws.”

Women and girls were “not seen as fully human, with individual rights… to control our own bodies” she wrote on Twitter.

In a landmark judgement in 2016, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court banned marriage for both boys and girls under the age of 18. The age of sexual consent is 16.

The United Nations has urged the Zimbabwean government to recognise child marriage as a crime and bring an end to the practice. – BBC.

WTO chief welcomes bias ruling over ‘grandmother’ jibe

BERNE – The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has welcomed a ruling by the Swiss media regulator that found a newspaper headline describing her as a “grandmother” after her appointment to lead the body, was gender-biased.

Aargauer Zeitung newspaper ran the headline: “This grandmother will become the boss of the WTO,” after Okongo-Iweala was appointed in March.

The paper apologised following widespread criticism saying its headline had been “inappropriate and unsuitable.”

Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian-American, is a widely respected Harvard-educated development economist. She served as finance and foreign affairs minister in Nigeria and worked for 25 years at the World Bank.

The 67-year-old is the first African and woman to lead WTO.

She tweeted on Thursday that the Swiss Press Council was right for calling out gender bias and sexism.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the media regulator said that it had been unable to determine if there was racial bias.

“However… it is obvious that if this had been about a male former finance and foreign minister in a country of 200 million people, the headline ‘a grandfather becomes the WTO director-general’ would be inconceivable,” Barron’s news site reported. – BBC.

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