Forced marriage in South Africa

A good news story (in some ways) from South Africa where the  Commission for Gender Equality intervened to save a young girl from being forcibly married to a man much older than herself. The sad part of the story is that it is still happening, and the religious leaders who were putting pressure on the family to do this should be prosecuted, but well done to the CGE!

cge

Authorities save teen from forced marriage

Johannesburg – A KwaZulu-Natal teenager has been taken from her parents who were allegedly planning to marry her off to an older man, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said on Monday.

“The department of social welfare has removed the child, 14, from her home until such time that a social worker… has ascertained the safety of the child,” the CGE said in a statement.

“In terms of both the Sexual Offences Act and the Children’s Act, the CGE pointed out to both the parents and the suitor that should this marriage proceed, they would be arrested and prosecuted.”

The commission received a anonymous complaint in November that the teenager, from KwaMthandeni, was to marry a man older than 40 on 16 December.

The girl would replace her 20-year-old sister, who had been chosen by the man.

“Upon finding [out] that she is pregnant by another man, the sister ran off… The suitor and [her] family agreed that the younger sister should take her place,” the CGE said.

A team of social workers and policemen verified the story, found the child and spoke to the family and the suitor about calling off the marriage.

“The family and suitor confirmed that the man had paid R29 500 towards lobola and wanted either his money back or another girl.”

Rituals had been done and the wedding day had been arranged.

“The girl’s family said they were not very keen to marry the child off, but religious leaders from their church put pressure on them,” the CGE said.

“The girl’s mother said, as a woman, she did not have much say in the matter,” it said.

– SAPA

Advertisements

Let me know what you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s