Child Marriage Remains an Urgent Problem in East and Southern Africa


Child marriage remains an urgent problem in East and Southern Africa. The violation of girls’ freedom and rights continues to dominate. Over 31% of the African girls get married before they attain adulthood age of 18 years. A recent report showed that there are 650 million children who serve as brides in the world. In addition, 12 million girls get married yearly.


Despite many organizations fighting for the rights of women, girls have remained to pass through hard moments. Early marriage means the child cannot work towards her dreams. They are denied the freedom to show their potential in social and economic activities.


In some places, like the northern parts of Kenya, sexual violence cases have increased. Worst of all, when the pandemic struck the world, the number of pregnant girls was unbelievable. Some ended up getting HIV, and others contracting STIs. As per the report, out of 1000 births occurring daily in Africa, 95 % of the mothers are below 19 years of age. Since some of them are too young, their bodies are not yet matured to give birth. They end up dying.


The Sustainable Development Goals have included gender equality as one of the top points on the list to cater to girls’ lives. The goal is to do away with early marriages before the 2030 vision.


More than 100 organizations around the world have committed their resources to end child marriage. But the war is still on. It’s poverty that results in such behaviors. The body must work towards ensuring young girls, mainly below the age of 16, are fully protected. Furthermore, young children can grasp school content more than a married girl who comes back later to school. These children don’t take themselves, their parents, and other relatives are inhumane behind the marriage thing.


The youth and Genders expert of UNFPA had this to say,  “While more than 25 million child marriages were prevented in the last decade globally, progress has been more uneven in East and Southern Africa, where high levels of gender inequality, the devastating socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and multiple humanitarian and climate crises are hampering the good work that has been done to end this harmful practice. To change this trajectory, we must accelerate our actions to end child marriage.”


There’s a virtual and physical meeting that will take place on 11 and 12th October. UNICEF and UNFPA will hold a meeting to celebrate the 5th anniversary since the beginning of the program’ End Childs Marriage’. GPECM began when girls in Southern and Eastern Africa were having a rough time getting their rights.


The organization has remained focused on protecting and promoting the human rights of teenage girls across Africa. As a result, almost 7.9 million girls have passed through the GPECM organization from the 12 most-affected countries. The program commenced in 2016 to 2019 when the Covid-19 pandemic affected the whole world.


The meeting will provide a report on the new ways the organization has come up with to protect girls in East and Southern Africa. The Vice President of Zambia is one of the guests. Mr. Grace Machel, the child’s advocate, will also avail herself. Activist Hlubi Mboya will be the moderator during the occasion.



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