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NGO Advocates Govts. Increase Budgetary Provisions In Tackling Child Marriage Syndrome In Enugu

…… Seeks Media Partnership
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Worried by the high rate of child marriage in Enugu State, South East Nigeria, Women Information Network (WINET), a non- governmental organization (NGO) has called on the media to join hands with critical Stakeholders in advocating for more budgetary provisions by governments so as to end the ugly development.
It noted that the trend has done more harm than good to families and Society in Igbo land.
Executive Director of WINET, Mrs. Miriam Menkiti, who spoke Tuesday during a one day media roundtable on Budget Advocacy to end child marriage in Enugu State, organized by the NGO, disclosed that they are focusing on government at all levels.
She added that the organization and her partners, Girls Not Bride, are working towards ensuring that governments makes provisions in the budget to support ending child marriage which is also geared towards support girls’ retention in school.
She hinted that her NGO is member organization of Girls Not Brides, a global network of more than 1,500 Civil Society groups from over 100 countries committed to ending Child marriage and ensuring that girls can reach their full potentials.
The WINET boss, who is also a media guru said “We are aware of the issue of poverty, worsened by COVID-19 pandemic that has impoverished families and the risk this could pose for the girl-child who is easily neglected and told to stop school so that her brothers could complete their education.
According to her, “WINET understands the critical role of the media in the society and has decided to bring you in the picture.
“Today’s meeting is for us to engage with you to understand the importance of government’s making provisions to end child marriage, while you scrutinise and analysis budget and report the issues to hold government accountable on issues concerning ending child marriage
Mrs. Menkiti, explained further that “the project under which this media roundtable is taking place is titled, Budget Advocacy ” to end child marriage in two local government areas in Enugu State, using Aninri and Enugu South local government areas as pilot.
The WINET Executive Director said “the objectives of the project are advocate to Chairmen Aninri and Enugu South local government areas of Enugu State for increased budget line for interventions to end child marriage by keeping girls in school and provision of good healthcare services.
Also, the “second objective is to train the local government budget teams on making implementable budgets to end girl child marriage and promote girls – child retention in schools.
She however, identified the cause of early girl marriage to include poverty and culture which she said could be checked through legislation such as the Enugu State Child Rights Law of 2016, stressing that they would continue to impress on the local governments to end girl marriage through budgetary provisions.
“We are focusing on the governments at the local government level to use their budgets to support ending child marriage provisions to support girls’ retention in school,”.
Delivering a keynote lecture at the event, a retired permanent secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Enugu State, Sir Casmir Ugwu, said the role of the media in ending the child marriage in the state cannot be over emphasized .
Ugwu in the paper entitled, “Importance of Ending Girl Child Marriage Using Budgetary Provisions: The Role of Journalists, challenged men of the pen profession to join in the campaign to end ugly trend in the state.
He stated that child marriage lead to many problems such as early pregnancy drop out from school as well as the attendant health challenges such as HIV, VVF, Cervical Cancer, etc.
The Budget expert who applauded WINET for its efforts at ensuring that child marriage is abrogated in the state, posited that the media as an agenda setter, has a critical role to play in changing the narrative.


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