Education has been identified as the solution to the problem of early marriages in Africa.
This observation was made by the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari while receiving female delegates of the African Parliamentary Union, at the State House, Abuja, yesterday.
According to a statement by her media aide, Suleiman Haruna, Mrs. Buhari said girls need a healthy and safe transition to adulthood as well as a certain level of maturity and understanding in order to make informed decision on the choice of a life partner.
The wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, represented Mrs. Buhari.
The wife of the President said that through her pet project, Future Assured Programme, she has witnessed firsthand what interrupted childhood could do to the self-esteem of young girls, adding that in some instances it thwarts promising careers.
She spoke of other challenges of marital relationships like complications of childbirth such as VVF, interruption of academic pursuit and curtailment of economic opportunities.
She called on the parliamentarians to use their position to articulate measures that will address the issue within cultural sensitivities of our different communities.
She also urged them to consider what form of support and empowerment could be given to girls that are already in these marriages. “Their dreams do not have to end because of the circumstances they have found themselves in,” she said.
Speaking earlier, head of the delegation and Senate President of Zimbabwe, Hon. Mabel Chinomona said that women face numerous challenges like lack of political representation, violence, intimidation, early child marriages, and lack of equal opportunities in critical areas.
“Against this background, women parliamentarians must unite and support each other in coming up with strategies and policies that address challenges faced by women together in order to make a difference as we drive for equal opportunities for all,” she said.
“For us parliamentarians we have critical role to play as we legislate and provide oversight on government activities. In doing so, we appreciate support from our mothers, the first ladies for their activities that seek to empower women,” she added.
The delegates are in Abuja for the 41st Conference and 73rd Executive Committee Session of Africa Parliamentary Union.
Those that attended the event include Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, APC Woman Leader, Mrs. Salamatu Bewa, and Chairperson NACA, Mrs. Pauline Tallen.
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