Maputo, Mozambique- Mozambique has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates worldwide (48%), with nearly 1 in 2 girls in Mozambique getting married before her 18th birthday.
In light of this, the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) and Plan Mozambique, in cooperation with the Parliament of Mozambique and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) organised a national workshop on Child Marriage Laws in Mozambique on 8 December 2015, following a Regional Dialogue held in Johannesburg and a similar national follow-up workshop in Zambia earlier this year.
The workshop aimed at introducing the outcomes of the Regional Dialogue on child marriage laws and the national follow-up workshop in Zambia to the participants and discussing how best to tackle the issue of child marriage in Mozambique and to identify the roles of the different stakeholders (MPs, government, civil society), while drafting a parliamentary action plan on child marriage laws.
Attendees included several Members of the Committee of Social Affairs, Gender and Technology; Committee of Constitutional Affairs, Human Rights and Legality; Members of the Women Parliamentarian Cabinet; the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Action; Minister of Health and Minister of Justice; Representatives of NGOs; the Plan Coordinator 18+ programme, and other representatives of AWEPA and Plan, as well as other experts.
The Government of Mozambique has taken the issue of child marriage seriously and launched, in partnership with civil society and UNICEF, a national campaign for Zero Tolerance to Violence and Child Abuse in 2011 to raise awareness of issues affecting children, such as child marriage. In July 2014, the Government launched a national campaign to prevent and combat child marriage at the provincial level.
— AWEPA (@AWEPA) December 8, 2015