Commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child 2022

On this International day of the Girl Child 2022, I stand to advocate to End Child Marriage through the use of education to empower adolescent girls and young women to have more autonomy to make informed decisions over; Their body, Their life and Their choices.

Child Marriage or early child marriage or forced child marriage has always been seen in most families as a solution to problems such as girl’s safety, poverty, and relief from family burden and cultural pressure. This practice has proven to be very difficult to eradicate for the past years since it has several intersecting socioeconomic and cultural factors and therefore deeply rooted in the cultures and traditions of most communities that practice it. Although child marriage is more predominant in developing countries maybe due to their geopolitics and economic status, it is not specific to any one country, region, race, or religion. These adolescent young girls are mostly forced to get married to much older men some of whom even pay their bride price at birth and the family become indebted to them.

Taking part in the Global Leadership Challenge 2021, organized by St Gallen and Oxford University, I worked on SDG5.3 to reduce all forms of harmful practice on girls and young women. Through this program, we specifically focused on Early Child Marriage where my team and I analyzed four country’s perspective, policy and practices from three different continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and some of the challenges we identified were; lack of program evaluation, negligence towards married children, a shortage of data on sub-national legislation or policy efficacy among others.

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