MAPUTO, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Mozambican parliament announced here on Monday that it is working to remove the specific article from the family law that allows girls to get married when they are 16 years old as long as their parents consent.
"Presently we are working on the alteration of the family law, in order to remove the article that says girls can get married when they are 16 years old as long as their parents consent.
Now we think that they can only marry after 18 years old," the parliament spokeswoman Veronica Macamo told the press.
The decision follows the increase of the cases of early marriage in Mozambique, which has drawn frequent criticism and complaints from civil society saying that the article concerned is violating children's rights.
The parliament also announced that it is discussing the future of girls who get pregnant while they are pupils.
"We had decided that a pregnant pupil should remain in the same classroom and continue studying in the same period, but there were comments from parents against it, and the pupils themselves were not comfortable, so we are currently discussing the alternative solutions," added the spokeswoman.
Pregnancy at school has been linked to the dropout of girls and among the reasons behind early marriages, as many parents particularly in the rural areas of Mozambique tend to take their children to the alleged father of the baby.
Statistics show that Mozambique ranks the 11th in the world with the highest rate of early marriage. With more than 12.6 million children, Mozambique had half of its teenagers getting married before the age of 18.