To End Child Marriage in Southern & East Africa, Governments Need to Strengthen Laws & Implementation

Nafissa, 17 from Niger, was married at 16. Three months after marrying she became pregnant. She gave birth to a still born baby. Credit: UNICEF/Marieke van der Velden   The UN commemorates International Day of the Girl Child on October 11 -- an annual and internationally recognized observance that empowers girls and amplifies their voices.By Divya SrinivasanGENEVA, Switzerland, Oct 10 2023 (IPS) Almost one third (32%) of women aged 20 to 24 in Eastern and Southern Africa – around 50 million – were married before 18 years old. To address this pervasive problem, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum has adopted the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage, a legal framework providing a comprehensive, integrated approach to ending child marriage and protecting children already married. New research reveals that while some SADC countries have taken commendable action to strengthen legal protections in this area, other Member States have made little or no progress. These findings feature in new policy briefs produced by Equality Now in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF). Ending Child Marriage In Southern Africa: Gaps And Opportunities In The Legislative Frameworks and Domesticating The SADC Model Law On Child Marriage analyzes laws across the 16 SADC countries and identifies positive lega...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Africa Education Featured Gender Gender Violence Headlines Health Human Rights IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse Sustainable Development Goals TerraViva United Nations IPS UN Bureau Source Type: news