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Girls In Mozambique & Zambia Forced To Go To Sex Camps In Preparation For Child Marriage

Girls In Mozambique & Zambia Forced To Go To Sex Camps In Preparation For Child Marriage

Girls as young as eight are reportedly being sent to sex camps designed to prepare them for marriage by teaching them how to be good at sex in Mozambique and Zambia.

The sordid training begins as soon as the girl begins menstruating and sometimes involves sticks being inserted inside the girls, according to child protection activists.

If girls are deemed to have performed the sexual acts incorrectly they are cut by the women in charge as punishment, according to Persilia Muianga of international aid agency World Vision.

The practice was revealed at an international conference on ending child marriage, held in the Morrocan city of Casablanca this week.

Muianga – a child protection expert – went on to explain that some mothers in the communities force their daughters to sleep with a man before they have even begun menstruating, in the belief that this can bring on menstruation earlier.

Mystery surrounds the schooling for those who have not been initiated at the camps, creating an attraction in the communities for the week-long training.

Anglican priest Jackson Jones Katete that the initiations in Zambia begin for girls between eight and 13 years old, speaking at the conference.

‘You … pay these (elderly) women to do this torturing to your child. 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,’ he said.

He added that men do not want to marry the girls unless they have been successfully initiated.

Community leaders also fine parents if they do not allow their daughter to attend the camp, which also teach girls about hygiene, domestic duties and how to conduct themselves in the community.

While these fines can ruin a family’s finances in poor rural areas, the money that they receive when their daughter is married off after the camps can provide a much-needed income.

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The sexual age of consent in Mozambique is 12, added Muianga, which means that many young girls put their lives at risk by having babies before their bodies are ready.

Childbirth injuries such as fistulas – caused by prolonged labour – are a big problem among the communities, the aid agency told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Despite the fact child marriage is illegal in both countries, nearly half of girls in Mozambique and more than 40 per cent in Zambia are married before they turn 18.

Mozambique has the 10th highest child marriage rate in the world – at 48 per cent – and Zambia has the 15th highest – at 42 per cent.

Source: DailyMail

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