Girls and women are essential to building healthier, better-educated and sustainable communities. Women and girls are too often afflicted with some of the harshest aspects of poverty. Instead of victims, women and girls can be powerful community leaders.
Every year, 13.5 million girls are forced into marriage before the age of 18. That is; 28 girls every minute; 1 in every 2 seconds. This is unacceptable and therefore we stand in solidarity with all global advocates campaigning to end child marriage for good.
These girls are being robbed of their childhood and their right to live a life of their own choosing, while they could grow up making significant contributions to the social and economic development of their communities.
Child marriage is not only a basic human rights infringement, but also exposes girls to reproductive health risks and early pregnancy, as well as violence and exploitation. They are torn from their homes and taken out of School. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty and the disproportionate effect it has on girls and women.
With the recognition that this brutal practice often leads to girls feeling disempowered and can prevent them from accessing healthcare and education, we call on world leaders, Government and Development Partners to ensure that we enact and enforce laws against this abusive practice.
We must also work at the grassroots level with families, communities, religious and cultural leaders so as to effectively change the tradition of child marriage. Families need to learn new ways and see that there are other possibilities for their daughters.
We must work together to “build a world where every girl is allowed to reach her full potential, make her own choices, and live the life she chooses for herself.” We will appreciate if you will stand with us and alongside all girls and women of Northern Uganda to create a brighter future for all. Please hear our call.