Rugby Saving School Girls From Child Marriage in Rural Zimbabwe

Covid-19 has upended the lives of many children and their families alike, with migratory efforts such as lockdowns resulting in countrywide school closures, affecting children's routines and support systems.  Pandemic control measures that do not account for the gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities of young women and girls may increase their risk of sexual exploitation, including child marriage. But in eastern Zimbabwe, five years after girls started playing rugby, several have represented the country in the sport, and many more credit it with saving them from becoming child brides in a nation where early marriage remains common despite being outlawed in 2016.

InFocus

Sahumani Secondary rugby team coach Patricia Mukunike-Chakanya is throwing the ball at Cathrine Muranganwa lifted by Trish Kandemiri and Velme Nyarumwe during a line-out at Sahumani Secondary, Honde Valley, September 11 2020.

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