DANIELS G. O
Ending Child Marriage in Lagos State: Stakeholders Call to Action
The Centre for Women’s Health and Information – CEWHIN with the support of Rise Up – an initiative of the Public Health Institute of the John Hopkins University, USA, will be organizing a press conference on Tuesday 8th September 2020 by 10am, at the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry – LCCI, Ikeja. CEWHIN aims to sensitize the Lagos State Government and community stakeholders of their responsibilities to end the practice of Child Marriage, which is fast becoming a menace within communities in Lagos State.
In the last one (1) year, CEWHIN conducted an advocacy campaign in Northern Settler communities of Agege and Idi-Araba, to end the practice of Child Marriage. The campaign strategy was to get the heads of the two communities, as well as other stakeholders and influencers (including the young women and girls) within the communities to begin to take actions to combat the practice of child marriage within Agege and Idi-Araba Northern settler communities.
CEWHIN’s engagement with stakeholders and young women within the communities made them realize that the practice of Child Marriage in Lagos State is a criminal offence, according to the Child’s Right Law 2007 of Lagos State. Also, it came to the fore that there are no benefits to the practice of child marriage because it is depriving the communities of the opportunity to reap the enormous benefits associated with formally educating the girl child. It was also realized that the practice has negative health implications for young women and girls. This realization has brought about concerted efforts by the Northern Settler communities of Agege and Idi-Araba to begin a campaign against child marriage in their communities.
The success of CEWHIN’s initiated anti-child marriage campaign in Agege and Idi-Araba Northern Settler communities can be replicated in other communities within Lagos State where child marriage is being practiced. The strategy of using community stakeholders as influencers to address communal issues is instrumental to ending harmful traditional practices within the society. #endchildmarriageinlagos.
The Centre for Women’s Health and Information (CEWHIN) is a registered not for profit organization committed to empowering individuals for improved quality of life and social change. CEWHIN’s vision is a society where women and girls are empowered to realize their mental, social and physical wellbeing.
Tolulope F Aderibigbe