How NGOs are fighting child marriage in communities by Daily Monitor
The National Planning Authority data, which was released last year, shows that the country loses Shs1.6 trillion annually in tackling issues of harmful cultural practices, including child marriage.
Several organisations have created strategies to sensitise girls and the community on the dangers of engaging in early sex to change the narrative.
They have also partnered with other stakeholders to build a legal framework and policy environment to mitigate cases of child abuse and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted.
The NGOs also engage parents and teachers to support the learners to remain in school.
“We are also equipping influential people with skills so that they can take lead in the implementation of activities which target ending child marriage,” Mr Patrick Dranimva, the programme officer at Amani Initiative, an NGO, says.
The organization carries out sensitization in communities and works with the church to promote behavioral change.
Movement Matters by the Movement for Community led Development
“At Amani Initiative, our strength has been our ability to leverage pathways at the community level,” shares Nixon Ochatre, Founder of Amani Initiative and Chairperson for the MCLD Uganda Chapter. In the fourth edition of the Movement for Community-led Development’s monthly column, Movement Matters, Sera Bulbul and Nixon Ochatre talk about working with community change agents to prevent and respond to child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
Growing evidence shows that in times of humanitarian crisis, child marriage rates increase, with a disproportionate impact on girls. Yet adolescent girls continue to be left behind in humanitarian response efforts. This brief from Girls Not Brides outlines what we know about child marriage in humanitarian crises, highlights a number of initiatives which address it, and includes recommendations on what more needs to be done.
Child marriage rates have increased in some crisis situations. While gender inequality is a root cause of child marriage in both stable and fragile contexts, often in times of crisis, families see child marriage as a way to cope with economic hardship exacerbated by crisis and to protect girls from increased violence. But in reality, it results in a range of harmful consequences.
Child marriage is not being adequately addressed in situations of crisis. It is a cross-cutting issue which requires coordinated action across all sectors from the earliest stage of crises.
Mobile phones are an essential item in most people’s lives as they are used in almost all areas that facilitate socioeconomic empowerment such as access to information, communication, financial inclusion and social protection.
Most rural women in Uganda do not have mobile phones, not only denying them an opportunity to access these services but also contributing to an increase in poverty, child marriage and gender-based violence.
The Connected Women project will be addressing this challenge through providing 300 at risk girls and young women in the West Nile Region of Uganda with mobile phone handsets and digital literacy on how best to use these handsets for socioeconomic empowerment and digital connection.