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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Zambians march against child rape
By Penny Dale
BBC, Lusaka

Thousands of Zambian men and women have staged an angry protests at the rising trend of the rape of children.

Zambian orphan
Some believe that sex with a virgin can cure Aids
Almost every day local newspapers report on the cases of children who have been sexually abused, often by their own relatives and by men who mistakenly believe they will be cured of Aids if they sleep with a virgin.

Trade unionists, human rights group, the women's movement and school children themselves united in a march through the streets of the capital, Lusaka, to demand that more be done to control the rape of children.

Feelings in the country are running so high that some women on the march waved about scissors, demanding that those found guilty of rape are castrated.

Aids drugs?

But not everyone thinks like this.

Emily Sikazwe, a leading member of the women's movement, wants to see government taking greater responsibility for protecting children. First of all, she wants stiffer penalties.

But are anti-Aids drugs something that Zambia's cash-strapped government can afford to promise right now?

Patrick Kafmukache, Minister of Labour and Social Security, was on the march.

He seems to think this is a possibility.




SEE ALSO:
Growing up fast in Zambia
17 Jul 01  |  Africa
New hope for HIV orphan
15 Oct 02  |  UK News
Aids ravages ranks of teachers
08 May 02  |  Africa


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