The campaign launched in Addis Ababa during the African Union annual summit is indeed a big boost to the various campaigns initiated by nongovernmental organisations across Africa to try and end child marriages.
The practice of marrying off girls at a tender age is a prevalent menace in Africa; 30 out of 41 countries notorious for child marriages are in Africa. And even though the United Nations Population Fund says the vice is most common in West and Central Africa, East Africa is not fully off the hook. If not dealt with firmly, there will certainly be a debilitating circle of poverty.
This retrogressive practice is indeed deeply ingrained in the traditions of some communities. Early and forced marriages are a crying shame and a disgrace that should be dealt with firmly by all governments if the rights of children in Africa are to be upheld and guarded.
It is high time that our leaders came together to fight early marriages by instituting severe punishment for all those found culpable. Moreover, parents should be made to understand that their children are much more than pieces of property to be disposed of by "selling" their daughters."
Read article by Anne Kiruku of Eana from allAfrica.