Driving action against child marriage and early pregnancy
Last month, CAMFED’s Day of the Girl celebrations featured our community activists in the CAMFED Association, CAMA, driving action against child marriage and early pregnancy.
These young leaders work year round, galvanizing parents, teachers and local leaders across sub-Saharan Africa. Together we’re ensuring that girls secure their right to education, and can choose if, whom and when to marry or have children. Now, during the season of annual general meetings, we’re highlighting the ongoing partnership and commitment of communities and local authorities to tackle the issues that keep girls from staying in school and succeeding after school:
Child marriage and early pregnancy were central themes of the CAMFED Association Annual General Meeting in Ghana. With an expanding youth population and high rates of poverty, particularly in Northern Ghana, a girl’s right to education is often far from secure. However, the educated young women of CAMA provide a blueprint of what can happen when girls’ rights are upheld.
In a recent media appearance, CAMA leaders Fatima Yakubu and Tahiru Shukuratu appealed to the wider community to take action. They are leading by example, having organized a total of 210 advocacy campaigns across 17 rural districts, through talks, marches, radio interviews and more. Fatima, who grew up in very vulnerable circumstances, is now a professional nurse, specializing in maternal health.
This commitment to safeguarding girls was echoed by a recent convening of CAMFED community stakeholders in Zambia. Traditional leaders in Kalabo and Sitongo Districts talked of their increased vigilance against child marriage and plans to enact customary laws against perpetrators. The CAMFED District Committee also briefed the leaders on CAMFED’s programs and the importance of supporting girls to remain in school.
Across Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Malawi, CAMA leaders like Rose Alexander continue to drive action against child marriage and early pregnancy. Just two weeks ago , Rose – together with community members, social workers and the police – managed to stop another child marriage of a 15-year-old girl in her district. Rose has now been responsible for ending nine child marriages and empowering many more girls through education.