Educating Girls: A Way of Ending Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy

KAMPALA, 5 December – Annet Nyaburu is only 18 years old, but she is a mother of two boys, aged 4 and 3. At 13, she fell pregnant and dropped out of school after her mother, a widow, decided she was better off married to the father of her child to secure her future.

Towards the end of last year, she left her sons in the care of her mother, bought a one-way bus ticket from the eastern city of Mbale, and found work as a housemaid in Namugongo, a residential suburb of Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

“Life got unbearable,” she says of her marriage now, a note of determination in her voice, “as there was not much to eat, and the man would come home drunk and sometimes beat me up. I don’t regret leaving him because I am now earning some money, which I send home to my mother to look after the children.”

Defined as formal or informal unions made before the age of 18, or having a first child before the age of 18, child marriage and early childbearing remain common in Uganda despite legislation against them. As many as three in ten Ugandan girls have their first child before their 18th birthday; more than a third marry before the age of 18. In turn, both child marriage and early childbearing lead girls to drop out of school prematurely.

The World Bank’s 10th edition of the Uganda Economic Update estimates the negative impact of child marriage, early childbearing, and the low educational attainment of the many girls affected by the two, on a wide range of development indicators.

Estimates of the cost of child marriage to the economy are also made. The cost of not taking action now is high, and will run into billions of dollars a year by 2030.

It reviews the literature on the types of intervention that can work to empower adolescent girls, and specifically calls for greater investment in girls’ education; for providing opportunities to girls who are out of school and cannot go back; and for equipping adolescent girls with life skills and knowledge of reproductive health.

Closely connected

Our report shows that close relationships exist between child marriage, teen pregnancy, and the low level of education reached by large numbers of girls. It shows that child marriage is likely to be the cause of more than half of babies born to under 18s in Uganda, so that ending it could reduce early childbearing by the same amount.

It also shows that both child marriage and early childbearing force girls to drop out of school. According to parents and principals interviewed in surveys, early pregnancy and marriage are major reasons for this.

The report’s analysis suggests that, depending how early a girl marries, child marriage reduces the likelihood of completing secondary school by 12 to 23 percentage points. Once a girl is married, it is very difficult for her to stay at school, whatever her age. In contrast, keeping girls in secondary school substantially reduces the likelihood they will marry or have children early.

Impact of child marriage

Uganda’s fertility rate stands at 5.9 children per woman, above the Sub-Saharan average of 4.8. This high fertility rate is attributed in part to the low use of contraceptives, but high rates of child marriage and early childbearing also play an important role. Ending child marriage would reduce fertility by 8 percent nationally, and could lower the country’s overall population growth rate of 3 percent by 0.17 percent. If child marriage were ended today, it is estimated that the benefit—in terms of the higher standards of living that would be generated thanks to lower population growth—would reach US$2.4 billion a year by 2030.

There are other risks associated with early marriage: Girls who marry before 18 are at a higher risk of dying in childbirth. When a child is born of a mother younger than 18, research shows there is a higher risk of him or her suffering from either stunting (physical and mental underdevelopment through undernutrition) or mortality under the age of 5. The economic benefits that resulting from a reduction of these could reach US$275 million per year by 2030.

Under Ugandan law, child marriage is a crime. Global research, suggesting that girls who marry early are more likely to experience physical, psychological, and sexual abuse and violence from their partners than those who marry as adults, applies also to Uganda. “Ending child marriage, preventing early childbearing, and improving educational opportunities for girls is not only the right thing to do from a moral and ethical standpoint, it is also a smart investment for Uganda’s development,” said Quentin Wodon, co-author of the Update.

Increasing women’s earnings and family welfare

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in Africa: According to the 2014 census, 55 percent of its population (now estimated at about 42 million) is below 18 years old. The report’s economic argument is that women who are girls now, and who wait to marry and have children, are more likely to complete their education and earn more later in life. And that this will help them to take better care of themselves and their children in the future.

Ending child marriage could also increase their participation in the labor force. Instead of marrying early, earnings in adulthood early could increase by 14 percent, leading to an overall increase of one percent in earnings in the population.

Today, such gains are estimated at US$514 million per year. The benefits of more girls completing primary education would be even larger, as would the benefits of secondary education. Ending child marriage and improving the education of girls could dramatically improve the standard of living and reduce poverty.

Implications for Policy

The overall boost to Uganda’s economy that ending child marriage, preventing early childbearing, and investing in girls’ education could provide is substantial—given the recent slowdown of the economy. At 4.5 percent a year, the average rate of growth for the past five years is far smaller than the 7.0 percent or more achieved in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“In 2016/17, the rate of real GDP growth barely reached 4.0 percent, and driven by consumption, rather than investment. This is not sufficient to achieve sustained progress towards poverty reduction,” said Rachel Kaggwa Sebudde, co-author of the Update.

Uganda has adopted many progressive policies and regulations to safeguard the rights of girls, but many are not enforced. Increased investment in adolescent girls could have a majorly positive impact on Uganda and accelerate its development. And initiatives that are already successful could be scaled up quickly to make a big difference.

The special topic section of the 10th Uganda Economic Update benefited from support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education. The report is one of several country studies prepared by the World Bank following up on a global study on the economic impacts of child marriage conducted in partnership with the International Center for Research on Women with additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

End the silence on child marriage

This year’s Day of African Child commemoration theme: ‘Leave no child behind for Africa’s Development’ contributes to Agenda 2030 that emphasises that children should be at the centre-stage in the drive towards sustainable economic development.

In Uganda, we are living in a situation where more than half (53 per cent) of women aged between 20 and 49 marry before the age of 18. Sadly, many girls, and to a smaller extent boys, enter marriage without any chance of exercising their right to choose.

Within a rights perspective, key concerns are the denial of childhood and adolescence, the curtailment of personal freedom and the lack of opportunity to develop a full sense of selfhood as well as the denial of psychosocial and emotional well-being, reproductive health and educational opportunity.

Generally, where girls are uneducated and ill-prepared for their roles as mothers and contributors to society, there are costs to be borne at every level – from the individual household – to the nation as a whole.

The accepted and respected marriage had respect for the girl-child where a woman could not be married unless she was at least 24 years and this involved negotiations and consent.

The new disorder introduced new violent approach of abduction of girls and women without their consent or the parents. Any child marriage constitutes a forced marriage in recognition that even if a child appears to give their consent, any one below the age of 18 is not able to make a fully informed choice whether or not to marry.

Forced marriage in these many conservative communities has resulted in young girls being pushed into a huge responsibility of becoming wives and mothers. And because girls are not adequately prepared for these heavy burdens, it has often resulted into serious impact on their psychological welfare, their perceptions of themselves and their relationships.

Early marriage plans are also discouraging parents of girls from educating their daughter with perceived believe that a formal education will only benefit her future family in-law and yet a lack of education also means that young brides lack knowledge about sexual relations, their bodies and reproduction, exacerbated by the cultural silence surrounding these subjects.

This denies the girl the ability to make informed decisions about sexual relations, planning a family, and her health, yet another example of their lives in which they have no control.
Notwithstanding the laws in place, a range of policy and programmatic actions should be orchestrated to reduce child marriage and its impact.

Every stakeholder must be concerned that no Child is left behind by ensuring that critical, broadly adapted and cost effective programmes are effective, but also feasible to implement at sufficient scale to make them meaningful and sustainable.

Johnson Okwera
okwerajohnson@yahoo.com

International Women’s Day 2019: Think equal, build smart, innovate for change

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019, which will take place on 8 March, is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.

The theme will focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

The achievement of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly when it comes to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Based on current trajectories, existing interventions will not suffice to achieve a Planet 50-50 by 2030. Innovative approaches that disrupt “business as usual” are central to removing structural barriers and ensuring that no woman and no girl is left behind. Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities, yet trends indicate a growing gender digital divide and women are under-represented in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. It prevents them from developing and influencing gender-responsive innovations to achieve transformative gains for society. From mobile banking to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies.

Echoing the CSW63 Priority theme, IWD 2019 will look to industry leaders, game-changing start-ups, social entrepreneurs, gender equality activists, and women innovators to examine the ways in which innovation can remove barriers and accelerate progress for gender equality, encourage investment in gender-responsive social systems, and build services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls. On 8 March 2019, join us as we celebrate a future in which innovation and technology creates unprecedented opportunities for women and girls to play an active role in building more inclusive systems, efficient services and sustainable infrastructure to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and gender equality.

RSVP for the International Women’s Day Commemoration in New York

NBS TV Investigates exposes modern day slavery in Uganda

Have you ever stopped to wonder what 50,000 Uganda Shillings can do for you today? With 50, 000 shillings, I can pay for my monthly Netflix subscription, with 50, 000 shillings, I can happily buy 7 beers at Valhalla’s reggae night, with the same amount still, I can afford a good steak from a fancy restaurant around Kampala. But there is more.

In Soroti district, the life of a girl is worth 50,000 shillings. For seven beers, you can buy a human being in Uganda today. Let that sink in!

In yet another groundbreaking investigative story, this is what NBS TV’s journalists have uncovered. The story under the NBS Investigates feature went deep cover to expose modern day slavery in our country. The months long investigation, now showcased on Next Media Uganda YouTube channel and already aired is present for all to see and attest for themselves.

NBS TV journalists risked their lives, led by Canary Mugume, to go undercover to untangle the web that begins from Soroti and finds its way onto Kampala road and other parts of the country. The hope of this investigative piece being that the authorities and Ugandans who care about their country take note.

One can only hope that this investigative piece on modern day slavery in Uganda will encourage a crackdown on this evil in our country. We hope that lives will be saved and changed for the better and everyone will take up the mantle to break up this vicious trade that ruins lives.

Meanwhile NBS TV is not done. We have lined up yet another social good investigative piece coming up, one helmed by Solomon Sserwanjja. The piece is about the illegal sale of government drugs. I cannot wait to share it with you very soon! Source NBS TV

16 days of activism – 2018

The theme of the 2018 Campaign is “End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work.” This year’s theme builds on the momentum and achievements during the 2017 campaign, when over 700 organizations in 92 countries campaigned around the theme of “Together We Can End GBV in Education.” Our goal for 2018 is to continue to target the institutions in which gender-based violence is perpetuated and push for systemic change and accountability.

rom 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

For far too long, impunity, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions—one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence.

The time for change is here and now.

In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light.

Clergy blame child marriages on traditional marriage fetes

Religious leaders in Teso sub-region have blamed the high rates of child marriages in the region on traditional marriage ceremonies which they argue entice underage girls to want to copy those that are married off in traditional ceremony.

Rev. Sam Ediau, the education coordinator of Church of Uganda Soroti diocese expressed concern that parents have made it a habit to ‘subject’ adolescent girls to ‘being attractive centre pieces’ while at traditional marriage ceremonies. Rev. Eduau says that the practice of actively involving girls in such marriage ceremonies puts them in the mood for marriage. He wants girls discouraged from taking part in such ceremonies.

“It’s now becoming a routine that during introduction ceremonies you have seven year-olds, because they want biscuits, sweets, you find them dancing in a funny way. I don’t know what we are going to do about it,” Rev. Ediau said.

Rev. Ediau says that due to the early marriages, Teso region is experiencing worrying levels of school drop outs arising from child pregnancies.

According to Amos Oluka, the Senior Probation Officer for district, 80 percent of young girls in the district start families before making 18 years. He also blames the desire among parents to obtain bride price as a key motivating factor.

“Whereas early marriages are seemingly rampant in the rural areas, there are very many aspects that have pushed these girls to early marriages such as cultural tendencies,” Oluka told Sunrise.

 

Children at a traditional marriage ceremony

Other sources, including studies however attribute the high rates of child marriages not on traditional ceremonies but rather on poverty, sexual abuse that forces parents to force the offenders to marry off their daughters.

Florence Atim, the in charge child-family and protection Unit Soroti remaked for example that most early marriages have resulted from cases of defilement in the district.

“The poverty situation coupled with rude utterances from parents, and peer groups among others have largely caused girls to leave home for early marriage,” Atim explained.

According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2016; 25 per cent of adolescents aged 15-19 have begun childbearing and 19 per cent of women aged 15-19 have given birth.

According to the website, girlsnotbrides.org, nearly 1 out of every 2 girls below 18 years in Uganda gets married before making 18 years. Uganda has the highest level of teenage pregnancies in Africa. Nearly 1 in every 2 girls in Uganda is married before the age of 18. Poverty, traditional and social norms, insecurity that causes displacement as key drivers of child marriages.
“Many parents marry their daughters in the hope of securing their financial security.

Bride price can also be a motivation for parents: a younger bride means a higher bride price for the family.”

The government launched the National Strategy to end Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy On June 16, 2015 during celebrations to mark the Day of the African Child.

 

 

Where child marriages are the norm

Sophia Nangobi sits quietly under a huge muwafu (African canarium) tree, a few feet away from the labour ward of Mayuge Health Centre III. It seems she is bored because she plucks a piece of grass, puts it in her mouth, and begins to chew on it.

Everything about the bare-footed girl, including her shyness when I approach her, is girlish. But, it remains just that – impressions. Rooting around in the grass, as if searching for something precious, is Nangobi’s eight-month-old daughter, Shuleya Nabirye. At 17, Nangobi has so far spent three years in marriage. She is also unemployed.

“I’m happy in my marriage,” she says quietly, probably wondering why I should ask. Her husband, Sadat Muwanika, 20, is a boda boda rider in Mawumu Parish, which about 11km from Mayuge town. For riding a customer this distance, a boda boda rider earns Shs1,000.

“I’m the last born of eight children brought up by a single mother,” Nangobi says. “When I got to Primary Five, my mother could not afford the Shs20,000 for school fees, so I dropped out of school.”

When Muwanika approached her for a relationship, there was nothing stopping her. With her mother’s blessing, Nangobi became Muwanika’s wife at 14.

It is school or marriage
There is a general agreement that attending school stands as a buffer between rural girls and child marriage. However, Universal Primary Education (UPE) is no longer free in rural areas because parents – who are often living under the poverty line – have to pay for school requirements such as pens, exercise books, uniforms and lunch. Girls like Nangobi fill up the statistics of the number of girls dropping out of school every year. But, unlike others who would jump at the chance to resume their education, Nangobi is comfortable with her lot.

“I do not want to return to school even if someone offered me money,” she says, adding, “I want to give birth to four more children and look after our home.”

As we are talking, a heavily pregnant woman emerges from the labour ward. From a distance, she looks like she could be above 30 years old, but that is probably due to that special way in which a nine-month pregnancy can sap the liveliness out of a woman. The woman is Jennifer, Nangobi’s sister. At 20, this is her third pregnancy.

“The nurses say I’m due to deliver any day now,” she says, as she struggles to sit on the ground. She is married to a farmer and they had their first child two years ago. The girls came to the health centre without an emergency bag of delivery items such as gloves and a Macintosh sheet. Since they are returning home, it is likely that Jennifer may give birth from home before they have time to return to the health centre.

To the rescue
Olivia Kawuma Aliyenka, a retrenched nursing assistant, encounters pregnant teenagers on a daily basis. The 56-year-old is a member of a Village Health Team (VHT) and moves around villages offering basic health education to different families. Of late, her duties include urging first-time mothers – who can be as young as 13 years old– to deliver in a health facility.

At about midday, she rides her bicycle into Mayuge town and parks outside a church where a man is setting up a small table, two chairs and two benches under a mvule tree. The mobile vaccination team is scheduled to spend the entire day in this location. Aliyenka has come to offer a helping hand.

“This is a town and there are a lot of things for young girls to admire,” she says, adding, “Some parents send their daughters to school without anything to eat, yet they are at an age where they crave so many things.

Then, there are the boda boda men who entice them with little money. I can only compare these boda boda men to a plague when it comes to young girls. In my experience, many of these teenage girls suffer obstetric complications during delivery and are usually recommended for C-section deliveries, which at Shs300,000, are expensive.”

Aliyenka, therefore, also sells them vouchers cards under the Uganda Reproductive Health Voucher Project (URHVP). These vouchers, sold at Shs4,000, enable pregnant girls to receive antenatal care, medical help during delivery, postnatal care and free C-sections when referred by the doctor.

“I ride more than 5kms out of town every day and over the years I have witnessed a big attitude change in rural women. They are now more eager to deliver their babies at health facilities instead of their homes or in the homes of traditional birth attendants.

In fact, towards the end of last year, 15 women gave birth at the health centre in a single night. Previously, there would be only two women on any given night.”

Searching for a way out
There are many brick huts in the compound where Sauda Nkoma lives with her husband. The compound belongs to her husband’s clan. It is easy to see that Nkoma is not happy with her situation in life. The 19-year-old got pregnant at 17; her husband was three years older.

Now, they have a one-year-old son, Asumani Musaku. “I regret getting this ‘accident’ at a young age,” she says, adding, “In fact, I do not want to get pregnant again, maybe in the next three years. I’m now using inject plan. My parents were very angry with me. I think they hated me at the time. There is nothing good about getting married when you are young.”

Nkoma got pregnant after she had completed Senior Four at Delta High School. The yearning to return to the classroom is evident in the girl. Teenage mothers in the rural areas in most cases face more obstacles in their ability to pursue educational opportunities than young women who delay childbearing.

Nkoma’s husband does not have a steady job and he takes on whatever job comes his way. “Life was not good for us. We had no hope of getting a way to earn a living until I enrolled for a training opportunity with BRAC.”

In December 2016, BRAC Uganda in Mayuge District, with funding from UNFPA, offered a three-day livelihood training to a number of teenage mothers and girls who had dropped out of school. The trainings, as a grassroots intervention, are offered with the hope that economically empowered girls (and their families) are less likely to become victims of child marriage and teenage pregnancy. From the training, Nkoma received two goats.

“If this female goat keeps on producing, with five healthy goats, I can sell each at Shs60,000 and buy a cow. I would then sell the cow and buy a piece of land. I wish BRAC could give us cows, seeds and land.”

BIG PICTURE
The effects
Children born to young mothers are at increased risk of sickness and death, while teenage mothers are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Also because these girls get pregnant before the right age, child marriages and teenage pregnancies have huge implications on the maternal health of the country.

Besides, most of these girls get married to older men so there is a high likelihood of domestic violence in the marriage.

“These marriages have implications on education of the girl-child and the country as many girls are now dropping out to get married,” adds Peninah Kyoyagala, Programme Analyst, Adolescent Health – UNFPA.
World Bank research on Uganda shows that teenage marriages account for about 36 per cent school dropouts.

The policies
Since government developed the National Strategy to end Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy, an inter-ministerial committee was formed to provide guidance on the interventions around child marriage.

Government is also mobilising civil society organisations to invest in the area of ending child marriage. There is also the Youth Livelihood Fund, which was formed to reach out to girls who are at risk of child marriage due to poverty.

On June 16, 2015, on the Day of the African Child, the government launched the National Strategy to end Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy. The strategy outlines approaches and interventions that will end child marriage and teenage pregnancy in Uganda.

The statistics
According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2016;
• 25 per cent of adolescents aged 15-19 have begun childbearing and 19 per cent of women aged 15-19 have given birth. Adolescent childbearing is more common in rural than in urban areas (27 versus 19 per cent, respectively).
• Teso sub-region has the highest proportion of adolescents who have begun childbearing and Kigezi sub-region the lowest (31 and 16 per cent respectively).
• Teenagers in the lowest wealth quartile tend to begin childbearing earlier than those in the highest quartile (34 versus 15 percent, respectively). This is due to poverty which makes it easy for young girls to be lured into sex, parents’ mindsets to child marriages, and low education attainment.

Girl-Friendly Latrine to Boost School Attendance

Overriding goal of the project is to ensure Girls from 5 schools in Soroti District, Uganda will not have to miss school simply because they are menstruating. The project aims to install sanitary facilities by construction of 5 VIP Latrines, each with a water tank (rain harvest), well-furnished changing room for girls, and provision of hand washing facilities to support vulnerable girls. With your donation, we will enable girls to manage their periods and improve girl's education.

Challenge

At school, girls are faced with poor facilities -inadequate water for washing, lack of soap, no privacy and non-functioning or insufficient toilets. This reduces school attendance and often leads to girls dropping out of school during their menstrual periods. Adolescent girls are often absent from school due, in part, to inadequate water, sanitation facilities. At all times, girls need facilities that provide privacy, security to avoid risk of harassment.

Solution

The project aim is to construct 5 latrines of 5 stances each with wash rooms/changing room and to provide reliable clean washing water for girls of menstruating age in 5 schools identified in the Soroti district. Also, to reduce the high pupil to latrines ratio and provide a separate girls' pit-latrine with washing facilities and clean water in the 5 schools, this will ensure school attendance of girls during menstruation and increase the number of girls with qualifications.

Long-Term Impact

By the end of the project 5 public schools shall serve as role models in providing girls' sanitation facilities and capacity building for 2000 rural young but sexually maturing girls. Menstrual management, drop-outs for girls are expected to reduce considerably. 5 girl-friendly latrines constructed in 5 schools with washing facilities and clean water will ensure school attendance of girls during menstruation and increase the number of girls with qualifications.

To support this program please donation using the form below

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Drinking water for a primary school in Uganda

SCOEN plans to connect tap water to Akaikai Primary School which is a government aided school found in Soroti, Uganda and the only better performing school. Akaikai has a Population of 1034 pupils and is a beneficiary of SCOEN's WASH Program (Girl-Friendly Latrines to girls school attendance) whereby a latrine is been constructed. You donation will provide drinking water, improve their grades, pupils spend much time toiling for clean drinking water 2.3Kms away from school.

Challenge

When approaching the School one can't help but smile upon hearing the unavoidable sound of more than 1024 pupils playing while others confidently recite their alphabet. The pupils walk 2.3Km to find clean drinking water, also lack basic infrastructure such as clean latrines and safe water supply. This is a reason for children to be absent and drop out from school eventually. Water supply is not available in school, so teachers/children have to bring water from other sources about 3Kms away.

Solution

This project will provide clean and sanitary drinking water (Tap Water) and 2 secured storage tanks, improving the health and future of the Learners. SCOEN believes that all children should have clean water and access to life-changing health and hygiene education. Our goal is to provide quality water to Akaikai Primary School, essential to SCOEN's strategic focus in Soroti.

Long-Term Impact

Through this project children will attend class fully, improve on their grades, creates a plentiful source of low cost refreshment throughout the day; encourages good health and wellbeing among pupils and staff; reduces tiredness, irritability and distraction from thirst; can have a positive effect on pupils' concentration throughout the day and school.

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Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda

SCOEN proposes an innovative approach to end child marriage through the use of digital technologies. We aim to provide young and teenaged girls with the tools they need to participate in community decision-making to take charge of their own futures. Through the creation of "Digital Learning Clubs and Spaces" and "Life Schools" for girls and young women, the program educates girls about sexual and reproductive rights and health, use political and community advocacy to end child marriage.

Challenge

Child marriage is a major impediment to girls' and women's human rights and to overall development. In Uganda today, a staggering over 37% women were married as children, and 10% married before their 15th birthday. The tradition of dowries contributes to the prevalence of child marriage in girls often serve as payment for debt between one family and another. Such customs deprive girls and women of their rights and undermine efforts to improve girls & women status.

Solution

The program aims to provide community members with access to and training in the use of digital technologies to obtain and disseminate information about children's rights, to raise awareness about the harms of child marriage, to advocate to end child marriage, and to make them aware of the means of prevention. The objective is to harness digital technologies to facilitate and catalyze awareness-raising about child marriage and to strengthen lobbying to put an end to this harmful practice.

Long-Term Impact

Your giving will provide 120 young women with training to lead "Girls' Parliaments" enabling them to become change agents in their communities and to contribute to raising community awareness about children's rights, child marriage, and women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, equip parents with the knowledge they need to be effective advocates of girls' and women's rights and to be able to take action to end child marriage. Together, we can end child marriage!

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