Marriage should not be a forced matter as those wishing marry should do so out of love, Young Women Christian Association national president Lucy Lungu has said.
Ms. Lungu urged parents not to force their daughters into marriage just because of pregnancy.
“Forcing a girl who is pregnant into marriage borders on the rights of the child and it is not right.” Ms. Lungu said.
She said such vices should be condemned by society, adding that a girl child was vulnerable and in most cases do not negotiate for sex.
“In most cases, if people investigated, they would find that the girl child does not have the power to decide their fate.” Ms Lungu said.
She said pregnancy should not be the reason why parents should force their daughters into marriage, adding that girls should get married for love and at the right time.
Ms Lungu noted that most girls who were being forced into marriage were not emotionally, mentally and financially ready for marriage.
“These girls that they force into marriage most of them are not ready for the responsibilities that come with being a mother and wife.” she said.
Ms Lungu said forcing young girls into marriage because they were pregnant would not solve the problem, but only make their lives miserable.
She called on parents to encourage their daughters to concentrate on education and not force them into unwanted marriages adding that a girl child was key to development.
“They say if you educate a girl, you educate the world, so I would like to call on parents to encourage their daughters to concentrate school and help them achieve their dream.” Ms. Lungu said.