Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – As a member of the Girls not Brides partnership – an international coalition which aims, among other things, to raise awareness of child marriage – AWEPA firmly believes that the best way to draw global attention to the harmful impact of child marriage is through open, inclusive and informed discussion.
AWEPA was therefore pleased to be invited to speak at a conference on child marriage at Fieldgen School in Luxembourg City on 22 January 2016. The conference set out to explain the issue of child marriage and early pregnancy to pupils, and to present the work carried out by Girls not Brides.
Ms. Magda De Meyer, Head of the AWEPA Belgian Section and Political Coordinator of the Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa (RFPAC) programme, represented AWEPA at the event.
Ms. De Meyer addressed the 400 girls attending the conference, whose ages ranged from 14 to 18, to explain the causes, consequences and prevalence of child marriage in Africa and across the world. She also presented AWEPA’s work in this field, before ending her presentation with a call to action to join the Girls not Brides #MyLifeAt15 campaign.
AWEPA was asked to attend the conference by the Fondation Follereau – a Luxembourgish charity dedicated to fighting leprosy, improving public health in communities, and providing training and support to marginalised children. As part of this mandate the foundation also supports the fight against female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and cares for the victims of child marriage in West Africa and Madagascar.