Men must lead calls to end child marriages

Faith Mandizha

MUKANA Wedu Foundation believes that ending child marriages and promoting gender equality requires a collective effort from society and men to take a leading role in advocating against it.

Mukana Wedu Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing education and resources to underprivileged and vulnerable children by providing school fees and educational resources.

The foundation aligns its efforts with the United Nation’s SDGs 4 and 1 and is currently leading a campaign against child marriages.

The foundation is utilising social media to spread awareness and providing community-based interventions to address negative social norms.

It recognises that education is crucial in breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting a brighter future.

It also distributes sanitary pads and empowers girls and young women through knowledge and means to manage their menstruation.

MUKANA Wedu Foundation programme coordinator, Washington Mumbamarwo, told H-Metro that child marriage is not only a serious crime, but also a social evil that should be urgently eradicated.

He said ending child marriages and restoring the human rights of all girls are critical tasks that require the collective effort of society at large.

“Defeating child marriages and achieving gender equality requires teamwork and an integrated approach. We need a mass movement led by men to raise awareness and fight for the rights of women and girls.

“As part of our End Child Marriages advocacy initiative, we are also teaching young boys and men about the negative impacts of child marriages on girls’ lives, health and education.

“We encourage them to challenge traditional gender roles and support equal opportunities for girls,” said Mumbamarwo.

Mumbamarwo pointed out that child marriages rob young girls of their dignity and human rights, and deprives them of opportunities to a fulfilling future.

“By abolishing child marriages, the Government has the chance to change the future of millions of girls. As part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, all nations have pledged to end child marriages by 2030.

“Governments must now act on their commitments and walk the talk. No child should be expelled from school or get married before the legal age.

“It is also crucial that NGOs, the Government and well-wishers provide girls with the services they need to prevent them from being forced into marriages in order to access education, food, stuff for personal hygiene and other necessities,” he said.

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