Policy changes and advocacy efforts have lead to improvements in the protection and wellbeing of children on the continent. But a lot more still needs to be done.
Policies are needed to prevent child marriage and protect women who marry as children from abusive relationships.
Around 33,000 child marriages took place in 2020 in Indonesia, a new report shows. This comes with more girls in Australia’s region dropping out of school and taking on more caring responsibilities.
Psychological services for girls who have been abused and traumatised in their marriages would help alleviate and reduce distress.
The mental health implications of child marriage on young girls are significant
The 17 goals seek to end all forms of poverty everywhere by 2030, by achieving 169 targets. Progress in achieving them does not match the hype.
Over 60% of girls in Ethiopia are married by the age of 18. Many don’t have support in negotiating with their husbands and families to take control of their own fertility.
All 36 states in Nigeria must adopt the Child Rights Act to safeguard their children.
Tanzania’s government must focus on the drivers of teenage pregnancy, which are entirely overlooked in current punitive policies, instead of expelling and arresting schoolgirls.
The region has made progress but efforts must continue to end a harmful practice rooted in poverty and tradition.
Raising the minimum age for Indonesian women to marry to 19 years is important, but on its own is not enough to reduce rates of child marriage.
There isn’t much space in Zambia’s rural areas for open, judgement-free communication with friends and parents about sexual matters.
The data suggest that boys experience as much disadvantage as girls.
Close to 4 million teenage girls are subjected to breast ironing worldwide. This harmful cultural practice, which is most prevalent in West and Central Africa, needs to stop.
In Indonesia, one in four girls marry before the age of 18. It’s hoped a Constitutional Court ruling will spell the end of child marriages.
The appointment of women into positions of power can break stereotypes and inspire girls.
Laws in Mauritius allow minors to marry while some cultures on the island are tolerant of child marriage.
More than half of girls in South Sudan are married before the age of 18. Endemic conflict and food shortages are only exacerbating the problem.
It’s not just women in impoverished countries dying in childbirth. The maternal death rate in both Canada and the U.S. has risen, particularly among Indigenous and African-American women.
Renewed attention is being given to the issue of child marriage in Lebanon as increasing numbers of young refugee girls are being married off as a response to the conflict and forced displacement.