UNICEF Mozambique celebrates the first International Day of the Girl Child by highlighting the importance of stopping child marriage
MAPUTO, 17 October 2012 – In Mozambique, the first International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated on the 11th of October under the parole “My future is now, I want to study. Marriage only later.”
With national TV and radio programmes focusing on the theme, as well as special broadcasts of child-to-child radio shows and an event in the capital, the day and focus were highlighted nationwide.
In Mozambique, 18 per cent of girls marry before the age of 15 and more than 50 per cent marry before the age of 18, which is the legal age of marriage.
“These marriages are forced, because even if the girls consent, they have not yet reached the age to decide for themselves” said Graca Machel, launching the “Fighting Child Marriage in the SADC region” campaign during an event organized by PLAN International in Maputo on the occasion of the day.
“It is possible and important to add Mozambique to the list of countries where girls aren’t forced to marry early.” commented Jesper Morch, UNICEF Mozambique Country Representative. “Mozambique is on a good track, but needs to continue working hard to make it happen.” he said.
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