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Ending Child Marriage and Harmful Traditional Practices from Eritrea

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Presentation on theme: "Ending Child Marriage and Harmful Traditional Practices from Eritrea"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ending Child Marriage and Harmful Traditional Practices from Eritrea
September 7-11, 2015 Radisson BLU Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia

2 Content of Presentation
Eritrea Country profile Regional and International conventions on Child Rights; International & National legal Instruments Customary Laws Traditional Practices The status of Child Marriage & FGM/C in Eritrea; The approaches used to combat child marriage & FGM/C prevention and control and The progress made Challenges and the way forward;

3 Eritrea Country Profile
Located in the Horn of Africa Area = 124,000 Pop = 3.5 million Literacy rate: 68.5% 6 Admin Regions (Zobas) Borders with Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Red Sea. Independence in 1991 Mountainous arid & terrain Prone to natural hazards Low income country 3

4 Regional and International conventions on Child Rights
The Government of the state of Eritrea has been committed to promote & protect the rights and welfare of children; and Eritrea has signed & ratified the African Charter on the Rights & Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) in 2000; submitted its consolidated report which covers the entire period. Has signed & ratified the UN convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) since 1994; and Eritrea is signatory to several international conventions that enhance the respect & safeguard the broad, & specific principles of human rights.

5 National Legal Instruments (ERITREA)
The Eritrean Civil Code (article 581 and 329) mentions that marriageability age is attainment of 18 years. Proclamation No. 1/1991 of the GoSE specifies that any contract of marriage made between persons (spouses) below 18 years of age is null void, and that the spouses and witnesses to such marriage shall be punishable under the penal Code (Art.614); and article 158/2007 to abandonee FGM/C.

6 National legal Instruments (ERITREA)
Art age.- 1. Criminal sanction (1) An officer of civil status or authority having celebrated the marriage of a woman under eighteen years of age or a man under eighteen years of age shall be liable to the punishment provided in the penal code if he knew or should have known such circumstances. (2) The bride groom or the bride who is under eighteen years of age, the persons who have consented to the marriage and the witness shall be liable to the punishment provided in the penal code.

7 Customary Laws (ERITREA)
Most customary laws determine marriagability age through consensus of community elders; while the unwritten customary laws determined such ages according to physical maturity, cultural ceremonies and participation in economic activities; Most customary laws do not, however, specifically state the minimum age for marriage and other marital relationships;

8 Traditional Practices (ERITREA)
Early marriage is associated with the deeply rooted traditional practices, because some parents believe that early marriage provides girls a better marriage opportunity; Female early marriage is traditional practice intending to protect female adolescents from engaging in premarital sex (virginity), which is perceived a crucial factor for a better marriage opportunity and family stability;

9 Child Marriage in Eritrea
Child marriage is a problem in Eritrea, and marriage occurs relatively earlier for girls. The EPHS 2010 indicates that among women aged 20-24: 13 percent were married by age 15, and 41 percent were married by age 18 (EPHS 2010).

10 Child Marriage in Eritrea
Not all girls face proportionately the same risk of becoming child brides within the Eritrean society. The rate of child marriage happens more in rural; less educated and lower wealth quintiles compared to urban, educated and high wealth quintiles respectively.

11 The median age at first marriage for women age 30-49
by area & Geographical Location (EPHS 2010) Towns 19 yrs Rural 17 yrs 22Asmara yrs Zoba Makael 21 yrs Zoba Debub Age 16 yrs

12 Education background, & Wealth Quintile
Median Age at First Marriage Secondary education 25 years , 5 years higher than the median age of women with middle Middle level Education 20 years No Education 17 years, Higher wealth Q 21 years lowest wealth quintile 17 years (4yrs younger than highest wealth quintile ;

13 Child Marriage in Eritrea
Early marriage affects girl’s survival and development to their full potential; as well as deprive their rights to education. In Eritrea, early marriage is also the main reason for dropping out of school, where (69% of girls and 39% of boys) age who ever attended school were dropped out of school (EPHS 2010).

14 Trends in Prevalence of Female Circumcision
Percent of women age circumcised Note: Data for 2002 is recalculated using WHO reference standard to be comparable to 2010 data.

15 Daughters Circumcision on U5 & U15
Percentage circumcised

16 Reason For Not Circumcising Daughter
Percent of women

17 Trends of Practice of Female Circumcision Should Be Discontinued
Percent of women age 15-49

18 Practice of Female Circumcision Should Be Discontinued By Age
Percent of women Eritrea total 82%

19 Early Marriage Prevention Program
Successful early marriage prevention approach should be collaborative approached by the teens, their families, teachers, health professionals, child protection Orgs, & Faith Based Orgs. communities, lawmakers, & law enforcing bodies, & other community organizations. The approach to this intervention is to strongly advocate the government authorities, religious leaders, community associations and law enforcement authorities to enforce the law; as well as to work to end child marriage;

20 Intervention To End Child Marriage
The MoLHW has been organizing training workshops to its social workers who are stationed at sub regional levels, and also organized Child Well-being Committee CWC & Anti FGM/C whose main purpose is to expedite the implementation of the CRC and the African Charter on the Rights & Welfare of the Child (ACRWC); Members of the CWC are organized at sub-Regional level, & consists of MoLHW, MOJ, MOH, MOE, MOI, MoLG, Police, NUEW, NUEYS and 2 (14-17 yrs) teen agers; so far there are 42/53 CWC formed in the country. The priority activities of the CWC committee are to expedite Zero tolerance to FGM & pursue anti early marriage campaigns, and to abundon other Harmful Traditional Practices;

21 Outcome of interventions
The Chile Wellbeing Committee measures the Knowledge, attitude and Practices (KAP) and other indicators of the communities in that village, and if the village is ready to declare based on the outcome of the study, them the village will declare that their village is HTP Free village; So far 10 villages has declared as HTP FREE villages, and more than 20 villages are ready and the CWC is in the process of measuring the indicators;

22 Challenges Working on traditional practices, takes time, because It requires strong attitudinal behavior change in families, communities and opinion leaders including religious leaders; it is also difficult to follow the practice, as it can also be performed secretly; Updated data on early marriage is required to measure progress; Strong coordination on national actors at regional and sub-regional is crucial; More funding to proceed the campaign of FGM/C and Anti-early marriage practice is required;

23 On Conclusions…. In spite of the challenges, the GoSE is committed to pursue not only to campaign against the HTP, but to work vigorously towards the abandonment of all the harmful practices; We are also pleased to be part of this training session organized by the AU, as we can learn more from sister countries and the AU experts;

24 THANK YOU Demhina

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