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Where is Humanity: Confronting Child Marriage in Africa

What you need to know more about

  • Imagine a 63-year-old man, like a leader in a church, getting married to a 12-year-old girl in a big ceremony, smiling for photos and videos.
  • Even though there are laws against child marriage, like in Ghana where you have to be at least 18 to get married, some people still do it.

Imagine a 63-year-old man, like a leader in a church, getting married to a 12-year-old girl in a big ceremony, smiling for photos and videos. It sounds unbelievable, right? But it really happened a few months ago in Accra, Ghana. People were really upset when they saw the pictures and videos online. Even though there are laws against child marriage, like in Ghana where you have to be at least 18 to get married, some people still do it.

Luckily, the police stepped in and took the girl to a safe place away from this bad situation.

Sadly, this isn’t the only time something like this has happened. In other places in Africa, we hear about young girls being forced to marry much older men. It’s terrible to think about. As a parent myself, I can’t even imagine my own child going through something like that.

Child marriage happens for a lot of reasons, like when people believe girls are worth less than boys or when families are really poor. It’s a big problem, and even though people are trying to stop it, it’s not happening fast enough.

Did you know that in some places, one out of every three women was married before they were 18 years old? In Nigeria, four out of every ten girls get married before they grow up. And six out of the ten countries where child marriage happens the most are in West and Central Africa.

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When girls get married so young, they miss out on school and good opportunities. They also face violence at home and have health problems because they’re not ready to have babies yet.

We need to change the way people think about girls. Every girl deserves to grow up safe and happy, with chances to learn and be whatever she wants to be.

It’s important for governments and people in charge to make sure laws against child marriage are followed. Everyone should work together to protect girls and make sure they have the same rights as boys.

The African Union wants every child to have a good life, but right now, many girls are being left out. We have to do better.

Stopping child marriage won’t be easy, but if we all work together, we can make sure every child in Africa grows up safe and happy.

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