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Wednesday, 28 February 2024

SADC Adopts Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage

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Also seeks to protecting children already in marriage 


The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) adopted the Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage.

The 39th Plenary Assembly meeting in Swaziland,  SADC-PF adopted the first ever model law on child marriage in the region which will require member states to harmonize their national laws to prevent child marriages in support of the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in a Generation

The Plenary Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the SADC-PF, the deliberative forum that brings together National Parliaments from 14 SADC Member States and approximately 3,500 Parliamentarians.

The Model Law will provide guidance to parliamentarians, ministries of justice, policymakers, and other stakeholders in SADC countries as they develop national laws. “The Model Law will address the most common problem of inconsistencies and gaps in the laws which weaken the sanction mechanisms available to law enforcement agencies across the region”, says Roland Angerer, Plan International Regional Director in the Eastern and Southern Africa. The Model Law eliminates several loop holes that make current laws ineffective and unenforceable including parental and judicial consent, and conflicts between customary and statuary laws.

Child marriage affects 70 million girls in the world. The East and Southern Africa alone harbours seven million child brides. The SADC-PF and other partners developed the model law in response to the high prevalence of child marriage in Southern Africa, which is largely driven by high poverty levels, gender inequity, traditions, religion, and limited educational opportunities for girls. “Child marriage mostly affects girls in rural areas, the uneducated or under-educated and those from the poorest households in SADC and other African countries. It is therefore, a glaring evidence of societal failure to provide equal protection, opportunities and services to all adolescents”, noted Ms. Justine Coulson, UNFPA’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

“The involvement of civil society and girls affected by child marriage is critical to ensuring the SADC Model Law helps protect millions of adolescent girls who face child marriage. We are pleased to see that young girls, civil society organisations and advocates will soon have the backing of the law to end a practice which deprives millions of girls of the future they deserve,” added Ms. Heather Hamilton, Interim Executive Director of Girls Not Brides.

SADC PF’s efforts to develop and adopt a Regional Model Law has been supported by the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Plan International’s 18+ Ending Child Marriage in Southern Africa Programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA), the Southern African Litigation Centre and Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.

The process to develop the model law started in 2015 and has involved wide consultations with various stakeholders in SADC Member States at regional level including those affected by child marriage, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, human rights commissions and ministries of justice.

“As partners, we applaud SADC PF for its commitment and fore sight by adopting this best practice Model Law which will protect millions of adolescent girls from the negative consequences of child marriage. We now have to implement, implement and implement”, stated Ms. Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo of the Southern Africa Litigation Center (SALC).

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Dr. Judey Pretorius shines light on the path to True Skincare at the Renewal Aesthetics Convention

28th February 2024

At the heart of the recent Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, a gathering renowned for its cutting-edge insights into health and beauty, stood Dr. Judey Pretorius, a luminary in the realm of biomedical science and skincare innovation. The award-winning founder of Biomedical Emporium captivated attendees with her profound understanding of skin health, bridging the gap between regenerative medicine and everyday skincare practices.

Dr. Pretorius, celebrated for her contributions to the field, delved into the uniqueness of individual skin types, drawing an intriguing parallel with a biblical quote, “I knew you before I created you.” This analogy underscored her message that just as no two fingerprints are alike, the same holds true for our skin. It was a compelling call to action against the one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, urging attendees to embrace their uniqueness and cautioning against the imitation of others’ skincare routines.

Highlighting the importance of personalized skincare, Dr. Pretorius emphasized the need for professional guidance when addressing skin concerns. “Seeking help from professionals trained in skin treatment and management is crucial,” she advised, pointing out that what works for one individual may not necessarily be effective for another due to the distinct nature of each person’s skin.

Beyond the surface, Dr. Pretorius expanded the conversation to include the intrinsic link between nutrition and skin health. She posited that a healthy gut is a precursor to radiant skin, suggesting that “sometimes, the skin acts as a window to what’s happening inside the body.” This perspective not only highlights the external indicators of internal well-being but also serves as a reminder of the holistic approach required for genuine skincare.

In her discussion, Dr. Pretorius also touched upon essential products that should find a place in everyone’s skincare arsenal, though she remained adamant that professional consultation is key to effectively addressing and potentially reversing certain skin conditions and damage.

The Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, renowned for bringing together thought leaders and innovators in the beauty and wellness industries, provided the perfect platform for Dr. Pretorius to share her insights. Her session was not just an educational journey into the science of skincare but also a reminder of the deeply personal journey to understanding and caring for one’s skin. Attendees left equipped with the knowledge that true beauty and skin health begin with recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of their skin, advocating for a tailored approach to skincare that mirrors the individuality of each person.

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Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights

27th February 2024

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities

At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.

During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society

Morwaeng’s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.

An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.

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Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture

27th February 2024

Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo venture—an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)—heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.

During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.

“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this year’s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.

 

Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of others—once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.

Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.

 

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