The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a pan-African frontline NGO led by Wife of Nigeria Senate President, H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, has called on all stakeholders to take an active role in ending the harmful practice of child marriage.
Represented by its Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Luther-King Fasehun, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa participated in the first African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage and other Harmful Traditional Practices in Africa, which took place in Lukasa, Zambia from the 26th to the 27th of November 2015.
Discussing with African leaders at the two-day summit in Zambia, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa urged stakeholders to make increased efforts to engage and mobilise more community-based actors, including men and boys, in the fight against forced, early and child marriages (FECMs). By engaging policy-makers, traditional/religious leaders, brothers, fathers, uncles, future husbands and fathers-in-law, detrimental gender norms will be challenged and the negative consequences of child marriage – including maternal mortality and debilitating conditions like vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) – will be better understood by all.
However, as a human rights violation, which has dire repercussions on the health, future and communities of children, child marriage continues to put young girls at risk of domestic violence and dying while giving birth. Sadly, statistics have indicated that an estimated 14 million adolescent and teen girls are married annually despite global activism against child marriage.
To address this, African Girls Summit, which was organized by the Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zambia, served as a platform to secure and renew commitments from stakeholders to invest more on ending child marriage in their respective countries. Having taken a stance against forced, early and child marriages, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has joined international partners, including the Girls Not Brides Alliance, UNFPA, UNICEF, World Vision, DfID-UK, the Government of Canada, etc to put an end to this practice by addressing the root issues of gender inequality; lack of education; poverty and deeply ingrained but harmful traditions.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa
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