Structural Violence through Early Child Marriages: A Case of Mashonaland Central Province, Bindura District
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The aim of the study is to analyse the relationship between structural violence and child marriages in Mashonaland Central Province, Bindura District. A review of literature already in existence revealed that there is scarcity in terms of literature regarding indigenous methods of reducing child marriages by evolving harmful social cultural beliefs. Focus group discussions and interviews were used to collect data from 20 participants and 3 key informants respectively. Purposive and expert sampling were used to deliberately choose the respondents in the study as they are familiar with the topic. Qualitative methods were used to carry out the study as it includes attitudes, beliefs and perceptions which cannot be quantified. The data collected was classified and analysed and presented in the form of graphs and tables as well as explained in writing. The findings revealed that there is a negative correlation between structural violence (which is embedded in the social, cultural, religious and institutional structures of modern day society) and child marriages. Poverty, religious and cultural beliefs and lack of uniformity in marriage laws have been identified as the main drivers of child marriages. Experts in the field have stressed out the need for policy reform and alignment of marriage laws to the Constitution in order to mitigate the issue of child marriages. However, there is need to use a multidisciplinary approach where all measures complement each other as they cannot produce the desired outcome if applied in isolation.