Starvation in Silobela has reportedly caused families to force young girls into prostitution as hunger continues to torment some parts of the country.
This was revealed by Silobela Ward 30 Councillor Idirashe Dongo while addressing the 50-50 Campaign.
Cllr Dongo said families had resorted to forcing underage girls into child marriages and prostitution.
“We have noted with concern that many girls in the area are being forced by their guardians to get into relationships with amakorokoza (gold panners) in exchange for money.
“We urge parents to desist from such behaviour as they are putting children at risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases,” she said.
Cllr Dongo also bemoaned the upsurge in school dropout cases saying in most cases, girls were the victims.
“This new and bad culture that has been adopted by guardians has resulted in a sharp increase of school dropout cases. In most cases, it is the girl child that drops out of school as they have to either get married at a young age or venture into prostitution so that the family can survive,” she said.
Cllr Dongo castigated parents saying they should never prioritise food at the expense of their children’s health.
“It is heart breaking and devastating to think a parent or guardian can actually prioritise food and not the health of their children. Such parents have no shame and such doings should never be tolerated,” she said.
During the same campaign, Cllr Dongo also bemoaned the rise in domestic violence in her area saying some males were also victims of domestic violence.
The 50-50 campaign is a campaign to achieve gender equality between men and women in all spheres of society.