The Impact of the Customary Practice of Chiramu (Sexual Dalliance) on the Rights of Girls in Zimbabwe
8 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2019
Date Written: March 30, 2019
Cultural norms and practices play an influential role especially in African societies. This is also true in Zimbabwe where culture is a moral ingredient that epitomises a sense of identity, purpose and belonging. Despite the high moral values embodied by culture in Zimbabwe, research has worryingly shown that the customary practice indigenously known as chiramu or sexual dalliance is harmful particularly to girl children. As a State Party to various international and regional instruments, Zimbabwe recently enacted the 2013 Constitution that can be used to address the custom of sexual dalliance. The article, therefore, firstly highlights the effects of sexual dalliance on girl children. Secondly, the article shows that the custom of sexual dalliance does not pass the constitutional muster in safeguarding the rights of girls. As a result, possible suggestions are encapsulated in ensuring children’s rights protection in Zimbabwe. These include: civic education and a strong nationwide public awareness of the new Constitution as the guarantor of human rights protection.
Keywords: 2013 Constitution, children’s rights, culture, sexual dalliance, Zimbabwe
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