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CHILD MARRIAGE RULING – Communication Materials Production for Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development (MoWAGCD) and UNICEF

Harare (Zimbabwe)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Harare (Zimbabwe)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Architecture, Building and Property Management
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Social Affairs
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: 2016-08-31

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Duration - 10 working days.

1. Background

Child marriage is a significant challenge for the well-being of girls in Zimbabwe. Almost 1 in 3 girls (33% of women aged 20-49 were first married or in union before age 18[1]19 years are currently married or in union while only 1.7 percent of boys in the same age group are married or in union.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of these marriages are de facto unions, formalised through customary procedures such as the payment of a bride price (lobola).

Laws pertaining to marriage in Zimbabwe generally discriminate against girls: the Marriage Act allows girls age 16 to marry while the minimum age for boys is 18. The Customary Marriages Act does not specify a minimum age of marriage. In 2013, Zimbabwe adopted a new Constitution which stipulates that “no person may be compelled to enter marriage against their will” and calls on the state to ensure that “no children are pledged into marriage”.

On 19 January 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Marriage Act, which allowed girls as young as 16 to be married with their parents’ consent, was unconstitutional and recognized 18 years as the legal minimum age of marriage. The ruling is yet to be translated into national legislation and has generated questions around its practical implications.


In 2014 the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development in collaboration with UNICEF launched the first ever national Girl’s and Young Women’s Empowerment Framework.

The Framework articulates a national commitment to protecting and empowering girls and young women in Zimbabwe. It recognises that empowering girls and young women contributes s economic future as well as the development of its peoples.

Under the auspices of the Girl's and Young Women's Empowerment Framework, the MoWAGCD with support from UNICEF will distribute Q & A sheets nationally in order to respond to the most frequent questions asked by stakeholders and communities in respect to the implications of the ruling through various channels including the use of social media. Some initial reactions by stakeholders on the ground have been that the ruling is detrimental to the protection of girls because they are now not able to marry as a consequence of pregnancy if they are below the age of 18. The aim of the Q & A is to address misunderstandings and explain how the ruling should be applied in practice.


Focusing on Strategic Area 3: Safety and Protection of the Girls and Young Women’s Empowerment Framework, the objective of this ToR is to develop responses for use in Q&A sheets to be distributed nationally in Zimbabwe by the MoWAGCD. The responses shall include explanations of both the legal and practical implications of the ruling in in order to establish clarity on expected interventions by key stakeholders.

Methodology & Expected Output

The consultant should:

  1. Consolidate key questions and answers (Q&A) asked by stakeholders in respect to the Constitutional Court Ruling on Child Marriages in Zimbabwe in consultation with MoWAGCD, MoPSLSW and other line ministries, NGOs and other UN agencies including UNWOMEN and UNFPA.
  2. Draft Media Brief on Ending Child Marriages.
  3. Write legal brief / fact sheet.
  4. Conduct legal quality assurance of campaign brochure and 9 other audio visual materials being developed by implementing partners for the ending child marriages behavior change communications toolkit.

Expected outputs

1.Review of key questions asked regarding the Constitutional Court Ruling on Child Marriages in Zimbabwe.

2.Fact Sheet is drafted that reflects legal overview related to child marriages.

  1. Campaign brochure and other materials are reviewed and are in line with national / international legal standards.

Major Tasks

  1. Identify key questions and answers asked regarding the Constitutional Court Ruling on Child Marriages in Zimbabwe – Deliverable; Consolidation of key questions – Timeframe; 2 working days
  2. Write Media Brief – Deliverable; Media Brief – Timeframe – 1 working day
  3. Write Legal Overview/Brief/Fact Sheet – Deliverable; Fact Sheet – Timeframe – 1 working day
  4. Provide quality assurance of information and communication tools - Deliverable; Campaign brochure, poster, other materials as needed – Timeframe – 2 working days

The consultant will be operating in the Harare area only. Transport costs do not apply.

Education /competencies

  1. Advanced degree in law, social sciences, gender, human rights, or related field
  2. Demonstrated ability to work well with people of diverse backgrounds
  3. Excellent communication skills in English both in oral and written

Work Experience

  1. Minimum of 10 (ten) years of previous experience working with the interpretation and practical implications of court rulings in respect to adapting system responses.
  2. Demonstrated specialised knowledge of child rights, including those relevant to child marriages in national legislation and international standards.

This is a senior level national consultancy.

If you are a national of Zimbabwe and have experience of working in a similar capacity, meeting the above profile and want to make an active and lasting contribution to build a better world for children, please send your technical proposal and an all-inclusive financial proposal, cover letter and CV quoting the consultancy title and reference number Zim/2016/07 to the following email address:

UNICEF is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff. Well qualified candidates, particularly women are especially encouraged to apply.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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