Widow Cleansing: Harmful Traditional Practice
Violence against women still is universal, and while it has many roots, especially in cultural tradition and customs, it is gender inequality that lies at the cross-cultural heart of violent practices. Violence against women is deeply embedded in human history and its universal perpetration through social and cultural norms serves the main purpose of reinforcing male-dominated power structures.
The calls for “equal and inalienable rights” for all people, “without distinction of any kind.”
Zambia: Young Women, Harmful Cultural Practices
Some cultural practices are progressive. Others are harmful to women and girls and they perpetuate abuse. These practices relegate women to inferior positions with respect to property, inheritance, marriage and decision making. In most cases, culture is used as an excuse to continue various forms of abuse that promote sexual, physical and psychological harm.
Zambia: 'Early Marriage' Tradition Violates Girls' Rights
Underage marriage is widespread in northern Zambia’s Luapula Province, where the estimates that 70 percent of teenage girls are forced into marriage. Poverty, particularly in rural areas, and a tradition of marrying daughters off young, account for the high rates of child marriage. The practice of bride price - where the groom pays an amount of money to the bride’s family - also plays a role as some parents seek financial gains from marrying their daughters. Many parents also choose to marry their daughters young to prevent them from getting pregnant outside marriage and besmirching family honor.
Zambia: Marriage of Young Girls a Tradition - Risks, Rights
MANSA, 20 December 2010 (IRIN) - The minimum legal age for marriage in Zambia is 18, and parental consent is required if a girl or boy is 16-17. Anyone under 16 is a minor, and defilement of a minor is a serious offence, punishable by imprisonment of up to 25 years.
Zambia - UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Media Statement on Conclusion of Visit to Zambia
LUSAKA (10 December 2010) – In conclusion of her official visit to Zambia the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, delivered the following preliminary findings:
“At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation for the cooperation extended to me by the Government. I am grateful to all my interlocutors, including State officials, representatives of civil society organisations, representatives of United Nations agencies, and individual victims of violence that shared their personal experiences with me.
Widow "Cleansing" Tradition - Rights Violation
Widow cleansing dates back centuries and is practiced for example in countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Congo and Nigeria. It gives a nod to a man from the widow’s village or her husband’s family, usually a brother or close male relative of her late husband, to force her to have sex with him – ostensibly to allow her husband’s spirit to roam free in afterlife.