Friday, 18 November 2016

AFWCON 2016 - Together Against The Marriage of Young Girls


The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Cameroon, African Union (AU), Powerplay and the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) have jointly launched the “Together against the marriage of young girls” campaign towards abandoning child marriages on the continent. Statistics have shown that one in five girls (representing 20%) aged 15-19 in Cameroon is married, and globally, about 15 million young girls are forced into marriages before their 18th birthday. 

These early marriages have dramatic consequences on the girls’ health (complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading causes of mortality in adolescent girls in the world) and also deprive these girls from their right to education, social integration and fulfilling their full potential. 

During the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2016, CAF in collaboration with the four partners, UNICEF, AU, Powerplay and FECAFOOT has thrown its weight towards the initiative carried out by the Government of Cameroon in the quest to end child marriages through advocacy activities that will be carried out before, during and after the matches. 

This operation is also being supported by personalities from the world of sports and culture, who have participated in creating advocacy elements to appeal to and raise awareness about the problems posed by child marriage, and to propose concrete solutions to do away with it for good. For the AU, their campaign on ending child marriage in Africa delivers on its objectives, focusing on 3 main components: Advocacy and Social Mobilization; Facilitating Technical Assistance and Capacity Building and Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

The AU Heads of State at their 2015 mid-year assembly also adopted a common position on ending child marriage and the campaign has been launched in 15 African countries with some going ahead in instituting national strategies and action plans on ending child marriages. Others have gone a step further in criminalizing child marriages such as in the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Islamic Republic of The Gambia. 

Powerplay, an initiative formally endorsed by the CAF Executive Committee on 28 October 2015 seeks to identifying potential for leadership and creating opportunities to practice those skills, Identify and nurture the potential for leadership in African girls and Hands-on leadership development through the Power Play online hub, through participating in the game, through the leadership summer schools. 

These various activities and materials will be presented by UNICEF and CAF at a joint press conference on Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 4:00 pm at the Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé. 


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