Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda

by Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northen Uganda (SCOEN)
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Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda
Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda

Dear Globalgivers

We are previlaged to report you that the dollar you gave generously helped SCOEN do number of things, thelped us be part of the THE EASTERN REGION GIRLS SUMMIT  Uganda whereby we were part of the organising committee.

The Eastern region girl’s summit was be held on 16th November 2022 in Soroti district and attracted over 300 delegates, partners and stakeholders from the region. During the summit different activities took place including the mentorship walk, dialogues, children’s parliament, side events\sessions and panel discussions supported by experts, leaders and civil society advocates from the region and nationally. 

The event gathered stakeholders from eastern region of Uganda fighting to end child marriages and teenage pregnancies.

OBJECTIVES OF THE EASTERN REGION GIRL SUMMIT WERE:

-      Create awareness on how climate change influences child marriage and teenage pregnancy, and devise mitigating interventions.

-      Spark action for transformative gender, faith based and cultural approaches in ending child marriage and teenage pregnancies.

-      Strengthen coordination and partnership among organizations, partners and donors working to end harmful traditional practices and other human rights violations.

 

OUTCOMES

-      Increased supportive relationships and duty bearers’ commitment towards ending child marriage in eastern region of Uganda, while emphasizing the involvement of men and boys

-      Increased awareness and participation of children in preventing teenage pregnancies and child marriage in the region.

-      Increased commitment by the private sector and general community, including schools, faith-based and cultural institutions in supporting efforts to end child marriage in Uganda

-      Enhanced partnerships and collaboration among actors in the implementation of the National Strategy to End Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy 2022-2026 at the local level.

You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us. In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible and we feel privileged that you selected our project to support out of so many wonderful causes.

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12 million girls are still married before their 18th birthday. Help us put an end to child marriage.

Many brave girls are already fighting to end child marriage in their communities and speaking up to defend their right to education and health. However, there are still 12 million girls under 18 married every year. They need your support.

When a girl is forced to marry as a child, she faces immediate and lifelong consequences.

Her odds of finishing school decrease while her odds of experiencing domestic violence increase. She is more likely to become pregnant during adolescence, and more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s. There are also huge societal consequences, and higher risk of perpetuating intergenerational cycles of poverty.

Our Girls Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda participants have taken a brave step further and are fighting very actively among their communities to help other girls. But they can´t keep doing this alone, they need your support.

By making a donation to SCOEN you can help prevent many girls from becoming brides.

Your support have contributed to increasing girls’ access to education and health care services. Your donation has helped to provide trainings for skills development as well as field programmes to educate parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage and to promote gender equitable attitudes.

51 child marriages have been prevented in the past year thanks to support from people like you. Together we can keep this trend increasing in the future.

YOUR SUPPORT TOWARDS OUR WORK TO END CHILD MARRIAGE

Through your generosity we’re working with girls, their families and communities to end child marriage by:

  1. empowering young people to advocate and campaign against child marriage
  2. providing safe spaces and support networks for girls at risk
  3. helping families understand the consequences of child marriage
  4. working with communities to make sure girls are valued
  5. influencing marriage laws through advocacy and lobbying
  6. supporting girls to stay in school and finding sources of financial support to help families pay for their daughters’ school costs.
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Engaging youth through sexual health education to end child marriage

Our SCOEN's campaign/project is tailored to impart nuggets of information, inspiration and motivation in regards to sexual reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, life skills, teenage pregnancy to mention but a few.

 In the January to march, the girls parliament aimed at addressing youth issues in the quest to help young people make informed choices in life, and is set out to advocate for the issues that are impacting young people in Uganda and to hold policy makers and leaders accountable for the decisions that directly affect the youth. More importantly is to empower the youth to take responsibility for receiving knowledge and demanding for the access to sexual and reproductive health rights information and services as well as empowering their peers with the same ti end child marriage.

The girl parliament  brings together young people, government officials, policymakers, leaders, development partners, media and civil society towards the improvement of the Adolescents and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights with interest to end child marriage

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SCOEN's Girlss' Parliament initiate the voices and leadership of adolescent girls to address the root causes of child and early forced marriage.

In the 5 minutes it takes you to read this post, 152 girls under the age of 18 will get married—whether they want to or not. 12.5 of those girls are getting married because of the stresses COVID-19 has put on their lives, families, and communities. That’s hurting the girls and their life chances. It’s also hurting their communities, their nations, and generations to come.

SCOEN is committed to learn from and support diverse women and girls to challenge injustice, and strive for a world that is equal for all genders. Child and early forced marriage  undermines the effectiveness of those efforts including health, education, and overall equality  for girls in their families, communities, and world at large. With the support of The individual donors GlobalGiving and The Beyond Our Borders.

What changes have we seen?

  • Girls feel more confident because they have had more changes to lead. The Girls Parliament facilitated a safety mapping between the girls and boys. The adolescent girls presented the findings to local officials, raising their concerns, and succeeded in receiving funds to place lights in the identified unsafe locations.
  • Adolescent girls are challenging local norms. Recognizing dowry as harmful, adolescent girls, led a public exhibition throughout the community. After talking with boys, girls, parents, and leaders, they documented their conversations through comic character drawings answering questions like “Why the dowry?” and “How can we stop it?”. Testimonials from community members, including their vows to oppose the dowry within their families, were brought to public view to increase accountability through the comic exhibitions.
  • Boys are getting involved to support girls. Adolescent girls in are leading activities engaging boys to talk openly about menstruation.Girls learned to make washable sanitary napkins with the boys; helping with Tackling the Taboo around menstruation and resulting in a big shift in social norms—the boy are discussing menstruation and learning to sew with a needle and thread; making the menstrual pads and then distributing them in their own families, the boys are acknowledging that girls issues are their issues too.
  • Girls are advocating for their education – even when times get tough. Access to education during the pandemic has been a challenge for more reasons than one, and even more so for girls; whose parents are prioritizing their sons’ education, which puts daughters in danger of marriage (if she’s not going to school, the pressure mounts). However, girls are showing increased ability to advocate for their own education, including by communicating their aspirations through a community exhibition of drawings depicting their own ambitions and acknowledging the women who inspire them. As a result, their brothers have stepped up as allies, and parents are showing resilience, despite economic stresses, by centering their daughters’ priorities.
  • Youth are engaging in regional level advocacy. Beyond the local level connections established, youth activists in Teso, trained by Girls Parliament, have formed a network called Living out Loud to strengthen and consolidate the voices of adolescents, increasing their representation at the national level. This network will continue to engage in larger and more established movement spaces over the next year.

How did we get there?

  • Opening space for activism. Girls Parliament facilitated weekly sessions (before the pandemic) on gender inequity and sexual and reproductive health and promoted financial literacy through adolescent Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), which allow space for girls to save together while building a foundation business skills.
  • Facilitating conversations for intergenerational change.The initiative also engaged adolescents and their parents in intergenerational dialogues and community events that challenge the gendered division of labor and mobility and communication control of girls. Activist girls with opportunities to connect increase their access to technology and education, and shift the inequitable norms that lead to child marriage.
  • Prioritizing locally-driven change. SCOEN relies on local solutions to respond to the needs of the communities where we work for a sustainable end to child marriage. The Girls Parliament worked with partners who bring years of experience to our collaborative effort. The initiative has shifted its partnership model to connect girl activists with social movements, women’s rights and girls’ rights organizations and coalitions that seek to expand the voices, choices and agency of girls. This diverse set of actors in each context is instrumental to driving girl-centered change.
  • Adapting to the needs of girls during COVID-19. Supporting girl activists through mobile devices during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place directives, The initiative took the opportunity of more men being at home consistently to shift gender norms and relations to become more equitable. Norms that were addressed include the household division of labor and unpaid care work – e.g. water collection and work related to hygiene practices – which we know can positively affect the incidences of gender-based violence, including child marriage.
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With the Parliament to end child marriage in Uganda sessions we aimed at identifying the role of community engagement to to ending CEFM through ensuring equitable access of marginalised and out-of-school girls to education and training. 

To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, emphasises the need for “providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes [which] will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large”

Millions of girls are forced into early marriage for economic and cultural reasons and denied the opportunity for education. Within the context of sustainable development, it is critical to raise awareness among communities that child marriage has wide ranging negative consequences for development and that allowing girls to have education and training can add enormous value to their society as well as their personal and family lives. 

 

Sensitizing traditional communities about the dangers of child marriage. 52 Local communities have been sensitized about the dangers of child marriage.

In our sessions the following was passes out to the communities; Girls who get married before the age of 18 are at a higher risk of dying during childbirth. More so, when a child is born of a mother younger than 18, research shows there is a higher risk of him or her suffering from either stunting (physical and mental underdevelopment through undernutrition) or mortality. In addition, girls who marry early are more likely to experience poor health, have more children over their lifetime, and earn less in adulthood. This makes it more likely that their household will live in poverty. SCOEN therefore holds monthly sensitization workshops, community dialogues and parents schools in different Ugandan communities because together we can end child marriage.

 

This has created a platform that promotes critical reflection and allows for questioning of beliefs, myths, and practices in order to realize a change in social norms, accelerating the reduction of child marriage & gender-based violence. With 820 girls by our change agents as ways of a raising awareness on their rights; disseminated information on SRHR & Child Marriage among 112 communities, reached 164 policy implementers, and 2552 parents/leaders able to protect-support their daughters as rights advocates, take action alongside other community members to end child marriage.

The notes were qualitatively analyzed for themes relating to the key questions, and the following major findings relevant to child protection emerged:

 

The home and school contexts—where children spend most of their time—remain key spaces to target in child protection efforts.

Adequate provisions, resources, and facilities are fundamental to supporting children’s health, safety, and wellbeing. Within the home, this means ensuring the presence of basic physical necessities and positive socio-emotional relationships between parents and children. At school, this means promoting a sense of belonging, clean and safe environments, recreational activities such as games and sports, and good interpersonal relationships.

Social-emotional climates and interpersonal relationships should be a key target area for child protection strategies.

Girls and children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by harmful factors in their environments. Girls are particularly harmed by sexual abuse at school, sexual activity and early pregnancy, gender-specific barriers to educational achievement, and gender-specific norms at home. Children with disabilities are ignored and sometimes even abused in their environment. Strategies to protect children and improve wellbeing must address these factors.

Thank you to our supporters and donaors, by adding your donation, you've become a part of our community of supporters and we're thrilled to have you on the team. We'll send you an update through GlobalGiving three or four times a year to tell you about the impact you've made.

 

You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us. In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible and we feel privileged that you selected our project to support out of so many wonderful causes.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

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Organization Information

Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northen Uganda (SCOEN)

Location: Soroti, Eastern Uganda - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Scoenuganda1
Project Leader:
Hellen Ijangolet
Soroti, Eastern Uganda Uganda
$22,318 raised of $82,350 goal
 
146 donations
$60,032 to go
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