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Child marriages in Africa: Prof. Deirdre Byrne

In its traditional form, Ukuthwala is a collusive strategy used by willing lovers to secure marriage negotiations. But over the years the practice has mutated. It’s now often used to sexually exploit girls and young women, particularly in rural parts of the country. Statistics 2 years ago showed that child marriages, involving girls aged between 12 and 17, is rife in South Africa. In KwaZulu-Natal alone, over 25 000 young women have been married, divorced, separated, widowed or are living with a partner or a husband. KZN has the highest number recorded in the country, followed by Gauteng with 15 000 women.
To talk about when ‘culture’ clashes with gender rights is Professor Deirdre Byrne for UNISA’s Institute for Gender Studies.
She joins us on Skype.

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