11 October 2023

The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) joins the international community in celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child 2023 which is commemorated under the theme “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being,”. The 2023 theme resonates deeply with our commitment to promoting human rights, improving access to justice, and advocating for girls’ empowerment. The LRF commends the government of Zimbabwe for efforts to improve girls’ access to education through the Education Amendment Act of 2020 which removes barriers against education for girls such as teenage pregnancies and enacting legislation that combats child marriages and the protection of children from all forms of abuse and exploitation. However, enactment of legislation is not enough as there is need to invest in social protection programmes that ensure that girls reach their full potential.

Investing in girls’ rights is not merely a moral imperative but a strategic decision that has the power to shape a brighter and more inclusive future for all. Girls today face numerous challenges, including limited access to education, restricted healthcare services, menstrual hygiene management challenges, and the persistent threat of harmful practices such as child marriages. Addressing these challenges head-on is crucial to ensuring the holistic development and well-being of girls countrywide. The LRF therefore calls for the urgent action by the government and other development partners to increase attention and resourcing in the areas of:

Improved girls’ access to education, life skills and support for pregnant girls and adolescent mothers: The LRF strongly advocates for equitable access to quality education with essential life skills and support for pregnant girls and adolescent mothers (PGAMs). As much as the Education Amendment Act provides for re-entry of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers to school, these girls are often faced with stigma from fellow learners and communities, and lack support to take care of their children while in school which often sees a number of them dropping out of school. The LRF recommends the setting up of community support structures for pregnant girls and adolescent mothers, together with awareness raising and community engagement to community attitudes and beliefs towards pregnant girls and adolescent mothers. The LRF also recommend the structuring of flexible timetables and curricular which afford PGAMs the resources, and allows them time to take care of their children while they continue with classes.

Supporting survivors of gender-based violence and working towards violence prevention: The LRF advocates for the establishment and strengthening of comprehensive systems that provide girl survivors of abuse with targeted support services, including legal aid, psychosocial support and medical assistance, safe shelter, and rehabilitation programs. Furthermore, LRF emphasizes the importance of preventative measures to address the root causes of violence, from early education on healthy relationships introducing psychosocial support and child rights trainings to teachers so that they can respond to GBV-related issues in school, to challenge harmful gender norms and stereotypes.

Comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education (SRHR) and services:  The LRF urges the government to make comprehensive age-appropriate healthcare and services, including SRHR accessible to all girls without stigma or discrimination. Pregnant girls and adolescent mothers who lack support in receiving SRHR services, often fall victim to falling pregnant again while in school. The LRF therefore advocates for the provision of essential SRHR education, services and support to safeguard the well-being and autonomy of girls, enabling them to make informed decisions, and protect themselves from harm, and helping them realize their full potential.

Improved access to menstrual health and hygiene management facilities: The LRF emphasizes the need for innovative solutions and collaboration in gathering menstrual hygiene management facilities like girl-friendly toilets and provision of sanitary pads to ensure that girls have safe, hygienic, and dignified spaces to manage their menstruation. The provision of such, addresses challenges such as stigma, limited resources, and inadequate facilities that often see girls missing class during menstruation, and allow girls to fully participate in education and social activities.

Continued action to eliminate harmful practices such as child marriages: Child marriages perpetuate cycles of poverty, limit opportunities for girls’ education and personal development, and jeopardize their physical and mental well-being. The LRF calls the Zimbabwean government to continue effectively enforcing and indiscriminately applying laws and policies that protect girls from child marriages, while working closely with communities, traditional leaders, and religious leaders to shift harmful norms and practices that perpetuate this violation of human rights.

The LRF remains committed to championing the rights of girls and advocating for their empowerment. We stand in solidarity with all those who believe in the transformative power of investing in girls. On this International Day of the Girl Child, let us recommit ourselves to creating a world that values, protects, and empowers our future leaders. The LRF is a organization dedicated to promoting human rights, improving access to justice, and empowering girls and women in Zimbabwe. Through our initiatives, partnerships, and advocacy work, we strive to create positive change and foster a more just and equitable society for all. For more information Contact Number:  +263 (0)242 333707/+263 (0)242 334732, Toll Free Number:  08080402, WhatsApp Bot Number:  0787108722, Facebook:, Twitter:, Website:

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