Parliamentarians Hon. Anna Kachikho (Malawi) and Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (Ghana) and PGA staff members, Monica Adame and Jennifer McCarthy, met with girls in the Kongwa District, during PGA's Parliamentary Delegation to End Child, Early and Forced Marriage in Tanzania. The girls participate in training and community dialogues hosted by the local NGO Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Network (AFNET). (20 June 2015)
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) is an international network of over 1,200 legislators in 142 countries that informs and mobilizes parliamentarians in all regions of the world to advocate for human rights and the rule of law, democracy, human security, non-discrimination, and gender equality. Working under the political direction of an Executive Committee of 15 elected members, Parliamentarians themselves from around the world, PGA promotes the effective application of international human rights law through three programs: International Law and Human Rights, Peace and Democracy, and Gender, Equality and Population Program.
PGA’s Campaign to Eliminate Child, Early and Forced Marriage, under the Gender, Equality and Population Program, seeks to empower Parliamentarians to address holistically this harmful practice and to create enabling legal and policy frameworks that accelerate the abandonment of child marriage and protects the human rights of girls and women.
To raise awareness about child marriage and mobilize parliamentarians to call for a strong target on this issue to be included in the post-2015 development agenda, PGA launched a Global Parliamentary Declaration to End Child, Early and Forced Marriage. The Declaration, which has been endorsed by almost 300 Parliamentarians from all over the world to this date, emphasizes a commitment to leave no one behind and to ensure that the root causes of child, early and forced marriage are effectively addressed through adequate national policies and budget allocations in education, health, economic opportunities, access to justice and protection from violence, among others.
We are pleased to see that a target to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations” (5.3) is included in Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Global Action, the final draft of the outcome document for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), released earlier this month, and expected to be adopted at a UN Summit in late September.
PGA’s Global Parliamentary Declaration rallied Parliamentarians to keep this target in the agenda and will redouble efforts in the upcoming weeks to ensure that the international commitment continues and is strengthened nationally for the target’s implementation.
News from the field, like those shared by PGA Member, Deputy Theophile Madjitoloum Yombombe from Chad about the passage of Ordinance N006/PR/2015 by the National Assembly of Chad which establishes 18 as the minimum legal age of marriage, demonstrate the importance of dialogue, political will, and commitment to human rights among Parliamentarians. Deputy Yombombe also shared several useful strategies to successfully pass this Ordinance.
Today we have an opportunity to make a difference to girls. According to UNICEF, approximately 15 million girls are married every year before age 18 and more than 700 million women and girls alive today were married before their eighteenth birthday. This must end.
Child marriage perpetuates the cycle of poverty affecting entire communities. It keeps girls out of school hindering their ability to reach their full potential and thus contributing to their country’s development. The goals of PGA’s Declaration are an essential global commitment to tackle this harmful practice.
We hope you will join us in ending child marriage by signing the Declaration. Please simply click here and become part of the global effort. If you have signed already, we thank you and invite you to share it with your colleagues.
For any questions, please contact in New York:
Gender, Equality and Population Programme
Parliamentarians for Global Action