By Thandiwe Garusa
AT LEAST 8.4 % of children in Zimbabwe are engaging in sex before the age of 15, a survey carried out by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats), has revealed.
According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MISC), 4.6% of girls and 3.8% of boys, are having sex before the age of 15.
The age of consent in Zimbabwe is 16.
However, the age of consent has remained a standing topical issue in Zimbabwe.
It is the consequences and effects of the age of consent that have continuously triggered the ongoing discussion, ranging from continued child marriages, to the disturbingly high levels of child sexual abuse.
The survey was done by ZimStats in partnership with UNICEF under Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) and the findings were presented in Harare this month.
In her presentation of the statistics, ZimStats statistician, Evelyn Marima said young women topped the percentage of under age sexually engagement.
“Percentage of women aged 15-24 who had sex before the age of 15 is 4.6% and men aged 15-24 who had sex before the age of 15 is 3.8%,” she said
This year’s survey was focusing on development and recovery in areas which included food and nutrition security, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, poverty reduction, value addition, public administration, governance, social services and protection.