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Government Launches Plan to End Child Marriage

By Shadrach Bethel,

Government has launched a national strategy to end child marriage and teenage pregnancy in the country by 2026.

The strategy, developed by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, focuses on four core areas; education, resilience and livelihoods, health and nutrition, and child protection.

According to the ministry of Gender, one in four children in Uganda is married off before they are 18 years.

The National Planning Authority (NPA) data, which was released last year, also shows that the country loses Shs1.6 trillion annually in tackling issues of harmful cultural practices, including child marriage.

The State minister for Children Affairs, Ms Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke, said the interventions are child-focused.

She said the government is also committed to ending corporal punishment, child sacrifice, defilement, female genital mutilation (FGM), discrimination and gender stereotyping.

Ms Mateke urged parents to discuss reproductive health issues with their daughters as a way of avoiding early pregnancies.