African Girl’s Summit on Ending Child Marriage

African Girl’s Summit on Ending Child Marriage

Date: October 21, 2015
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The African Union (AU) will in November hold a two day summit in Zambia to drum up support to end child marriages in Africa. The meeting will bring together high level personalities from across the continent , First Ladies, high level UN dignitaries, women and girls, civil society organizations including community and religious leaders.

The objective of the summit is for participants to share good practices and challenges on ending child marriages at country, regional and international levels. The conference will come hard on the heels of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal five of the 17 goals has a target on eliminating all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriages.

Child marriage is a human rights violation that robs girls of their rights to health, to live in security, and to choose if, when and whom to marry. It is a harmful practice which severely affects the rights of a child and further deprives the child from attaining other aspirations like education.

Every year, about 14 million adolescent and teen girls are married, almost always forced into the arrangement by their parents. Although the proportion of child brides has generally decreased over the last 30 years, in some regions child marriage remains common, even among the youngest generations, particularly in rural areas and among the poorest. Among young women worldwide aged 20-24, around 1 in 3 (or 70 million) was married as children and around 1 in 9 (or 23 million) entered into marriage or union before they reached age 15. The largest numbers of child brides are concentrated in Africa.

In Africa, the highest prevalence of child marriage(Child marriage prevalence is defined as the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before age 18) is dominant in at least 19 countries.


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