"African leaders MUST prioritize ending child, early and forced marriages in our generation", young women urge leaders at the 2nd African Girls Summit

Represented by members from Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Cameroon, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and  Mozambique, FEMNET joined policymakers, activists and feminists for the 2nd African Girls Summit in Accra, Ghana for the Youth Pre-summit and the main summit. In the efforts to end child, early and forced marriages (CEFM), FEMNET along with her members continue to emphasize the need to shift the narratives on child, early and forced marriages, a practice that is embedded in patriarchal norms and a direct violation of the basic tenets of human rights for African women and girls.
Leading a panel on the role of young boys and girls, FEMNET members from Mozambique and Guinea Conakry reiterated the need to ensure that young women and girls, who are most affected by this harmful practice MUST lead the change and are meaningfully involved in policymaking. This should be accompanied by efforts to ensure that policymaking shifts from just child protection to criminalization of perpetrators.

“We must consistently follow-up and follow-through the entire policymaking spectrum until every girl enjoys her rights. It is this drive that has led us to work with other girls in Guinea to cancel 17 child, early and forced marriages in Guinea Conakry” Kadiatou Konate, FEMNET Member – Guinea Conakry


“We are girls and we know what we WANT for CHANGE, we know our rights and have expertise to bring to the table, that is why we are taking the fight against child, early and forced marriages for ourselves” Khensani Nhambongo, Mozambique


“Girls living with disabilities have always been pressured and in most cases given off and forced into marriage. For us, child, early and forced marriages seems like a norm and that is why I am here to urge that the fight against child marriage, includes the voices and participation of girls and young women with disability” Daintowon Paybayee, Liberia

African government’s political will to end CEFM is a first step towards ending these child rights violations. Resourcing must be seen as an underpinning factor without which the vision to end CEFM cannot be realized.
READ the Statement from the Youth Pre-summit ahead of the 2nd African Girls Summit to learn more on what young women and girls are calling upon African governments and other actors to prioritize to end child, forced and early marriage.

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