National Dialogue on Ending Child Marriage in Uganda

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On the 20th of November 2015, the Girls Not Brides Alliance finalized the Advocacy workshop on capacity building for its members with a half day National Dialogue which started at 8:00am at Africana Hotel, Kampala. It was attended by over 130 people from Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social development (MoGLSD), Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, and Technology (MoESST), Ministry of Health (MoH) as well as the media fraternity, and Civil Society Organizations who are members of the alliance and survivors of child marriages

The Guest of Honour, Mr. Mondo Kyateka, Commissioner for Children and Youth affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD), said that child marriages are as a result of myopic pedestrian thinking and that the worst form of child labor is to see a teenage girl going into labor pains. He then proposed concentrating on the campaign to End Child Marriages through Girls Not Brides Alliance, supporting the National Taskforce in the Adolescents Girl Campaign headed by the First lady, ensuring Girl Child Education, collaborating with Police, administering the maximum punishments to the culprits, ensuring that the campaign has the participation of boys and men  (He For She Campaign) and making a difference in the lives of people that we target will help the Girls Not Brides Alliance to achieve its goals

According to Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (2011 UDHS), most girls aged 15 and below are either married off already or reported being pregnant with their first born. Child marriage like many other forms of harmful practices is a violation of human rights as stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and it has very harmful consequences. For example, even when the marriage is not forced, young girls are often so immature to give their well-considered consent to marriage,  child marriage inhibits girls personal development and makes learning and practicing a profession extremely difficult by taking away childhood and the chance of an education and also  girls risk sexual abuse and violence with their husbands whereas  early pregnancies increase the risk of disease or even death of the child and the mother

Child marriage and teenage pregnancies are harmful barriers which continue to stand in the way of girls’ potential, affecting millions of girls every year. One in three girls in developing countries is married by the age of 18 years. Girls who get married at a young age are at a higher risk of death during child birth, they are also likely to have fewer economic opportunities and are vulnerable to poverty due to time and financial expenses on child care said Mr. James Kaboogoza, Assistant Commissioner, Youth and Children, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD).

Compiled By:                                                                                     
Arutun Frieda Daisy
Program Assistant-Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)
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