Pupils match in solidarity calling for promotion of girl-child education
Arua. The parents in the district have been warned to face stern punishment once they are found ‘selling’ their girls as source of wealth.
While launching the End Child Marriage project by World Vision recently, the LC5 Chairman, Sam Nyakua, said several reports indicated that parents have turned their girls into source of wealth. “If we can be able to get those negotiating for the marriage of young girls in the villages and get them punished severely, then this would act as an eye opener for others,” he said.
Nyakua said the district was posing potential citizens to child marriage whose future is ruined at an early stage of life. “Some parents think that the short time wealth they acquire on the girls can relieve them from poverty. Yet this brings a huge burden on society. Some of these girls cannot make good motherhood and at the end the marriage fails,” he added.
Girls performing recently in Arua
The leaders also castigated a section of religious sects that encourage marrying off young girls saying the religious leaders should also be prosecuted and be ashamed of presiding over such marriage.
The Technical Director in World Vision, Mark Twinomugisha, said: “The girls have a right to be protected from all forms of violence, early marriage, harm and abuse. These children deserve better care and guidance from us parents so that they become better mothers in future. We should strongly discourage the early motherhood.”
Haruna Ndema, the Prime Minister of Lugabra Kari Cultural Institution, said: “It is true the Muslim communities sometimes encourage girls to be married off when they experience the first menstruation since it is in Koran. But this has remained a challenge for us to reverse this trend but we shall continue sensitizing the communities about the dangers of early marriage.”
The early marriage has forced away many girls and boys to drop out of schools, abused at will, and they remain stigmatized for a long period of time.
The Vice LC5 Chairman, Genesis Acema and ANPPCAN’s Geoffrey Dramani making commitment recently.
The Population Secretariat indicates that of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25 per cent of these are teenage pregnancies.
This means that more than 300,000 teenagers who get pregnant also account for the bulk of unwanted pregnancies, which end up in unintended births or abortion.
According to the National Strategy to End Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy, the rates are high in Northern Uganda with 59 percent, Western 58 percent, Eastern 52 percent, East Central 52 percent, West Nile 50 percent and Central 41 percent.