What is the effectiveness of “Girls Parliament” in ending child marriage?
By engaging girls with community and religious leaders including boys and girls, men and women, policy makers and influencers the power of Girls Parliament as a community awareness intervention in ending child marriage will be realised. SCOEN will identify impact pathways included creating opportunities for reflection and helping people shift both attitudes and practices, face-to-face communication with target groups and generating the ability to address issues of concern directly and to re-frame local thinking.
SCOEN will use communications-focused interventions
Whats Girls’ Parliament and how will it be run?
- Community and religious elders be prioritised for child marriage and gender equality messages as they are often the ultimate gatekeepers of social norms.
- Boys and men be targeted aimed at encouraging new masculinities that support their sisters and daughters to reach adulthood before they become wives.
- Face-to-face discussion encourages local ownership and combined with top-down or media approaches for best effect.
- Peer-to-peer education, girls’ clubs bring transformatory change to girls, helping them build confidence and voice while learning about their rights, serving as critical venues for reporting planned marriages.
A Girl’s Parliament consists of a sequence of sessions, each leading to the intended outcome. Child Marriage may not be discussed in the initial sessions to avoid community backlash. Related motivational activities will be used to introduce the topic. The initial sessions will be informed by the local context of the community.
The main objective of Girls’ parliament is to create a platform that promotes critical reflection that allows for questioning of beliefs, myths and practices in order to realize a change in social norms to accelerate the abandonment of Child Marriage.
This will: –
The following steps are essential in organizing and conducting the girl’s parliament:
- create a deeper understanding of communities, their situation, current practices, interests, existing opportunities and challenges and helps devise mitigating strategies for sustainable behavior change
- enhance accountability and stimulates action and a sense of ownership of agreed interventions by the community
- enable identification of key persons in the community in order to build networks and partnerships to ensure sustainability
- enhance the capacity of the facilitators to develop effective and adaptable skills in inclusive decision-making for attitude and behavior change
Training of community facilitators; stakeholders’ mapping and engagement; participant identification; develop leading questions; venue selection; and timing of the dialogue; Participant mobilization – a maximum of 45 participants is advisable for one facilitator.
It’s also important to understand how to conduct such effective sessions to bring about the desired change. Like to: – introduce the purpose of the dialogue; language of the dialogue, rules of engagement; community resolve and action plan; evaluating the dialogue and concluding the dialogue
Facilitation plays a significant role as it ensures that the objectives are met. It is thus imperative to have a qualified individual who will understand the qualities, roles and responsibilities of facilitation to effectively moderate theconversation. This person will be sourced to facilitate, conversant with Child Marriage issues and may be able to handle different scenarios. she may be confronted with different scenarios during the dialogue process that may hinder successful engagement and conclusion of the process