CALL TO ACTION:
On 23 October 2017, 150 key influencers from countries in West and Central Africa - including representatives or government, civil society, youth, community leaders and donors – will come together in Dakar, Senegal to increase momentum and commitment to end child marriage in West and Central Africa and provide a common understanding on how to translate commitments into tangible action.
The high-level meeting will serve to refresh and re-energise ongoing efforts to achieve the African Union (AU) call to end child marriage in the region. This initiative has inspired over 15 national launches of the campaign across Africa, and catalysed a series of national and local commitments to the changes needed to ensuring no African child below the age of 18 is married.
Strong local actions are however needed to ensure that the commitments made by governments are translated into action. We need community activists and leaders to change attitudes and behaviours that enables families to compel their children into marriage. We need traditional and religious leaders to make the changes that will allow all national, customary, traditional and religious laws to establish 18 as the minimum age of marriage. We need governments and donors to increase investments in essential health, education and protection services so girls are not forced into marriage.
The high-level meeting is therefore an opportune time to celebrate local champions who have made these changes possible and to call on more local leaders to pledge their support to eradicate the practice of child marriage from Africa by 2021(what is the AU timeline?)
You can be a part of this movement by:
a. Nominating a local champion whose story we can celebrate at the high-level event
b. Reaching your local leaders to take the ‘Ending Child Marriage in my Community’ Pledge