Advocacy & Action for Children

ENDING CHILD MARRIAGE AND TEENAGE PREGNANCIES

Ending Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancies is amongst the top priorities of Joy for Children Uganda. Different projects are implemented following a holistic approach which includes empowering girls, mobilizing families and communities, and enforcing the implementation of laws and policies.

Child marriage is considered as any marriage between children below the age of 18, in accordance with Article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child. While child marriage affects both sexes, available evidence shows that girls are disproportionately affected. Child marriage does contribute to a series of negative consequences both for young girls and the society in which they live. In 2013, Uganda was ranked 16th among the 25 countries with the highest rates of early marriages with 46% of girls marrying before the age of 18 (UNICEF 2011). Definitely, this scenario calls for joint effort by all actors in both public and private sectors

What Works

A holistic approach is needed which requires the involvement of all stakeholders: international community, Government, community members, girls and young women, parents and schools, decision makers, religious and cultural leaders, among others. The idea is that no one should be left behind!

What is being done to end child marriage in Uganda

In June 2015, the Government of Uganda launched the National Strategy to end Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy during the commemoration of the International Day of the African Child. This is a very big step forward for the country in terms of fulfilling the commitments that were made earlier at the Girl Summit in London, 2014. Though there are still gaps in the strategy’s implementation, there are evidenced collaborated efforts in raising awareness of the strategy, a role that government together with civil society organizations and other non-government stakeholders are taking on now. A lot has to be done in order to achieve the main goal of the strategy.

What Joy for Children Uganda is doing to end child marriage in Uganda

Aiming at ending child marriage in the country, Joy for Children Uganda is implementing different projects addressing the various causes of child marriage:
• Coordinating the National Alliance to end child marriage in Uganda (Girls Not Brides Uganda)
• Empowering girls to keep in school by giving both incentives like goats and paying their school fees
• Formation of school clubs which give girls an opportunity to share issues affecting them
• Develop district action plans to end child marriage with district officials
• Media engagement
• Community sensitization
• Engagement of leaders
• Story documentation and sharing
• Qualitative research
• Policy advocacy and following up on government commitments to end child marriage

JOY FOR CHILDREN-UGANDA

Advocacy & Action for Children
Working Together to End Injustice to Children in Uganda