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Ankole region on the spot over the act of marrying under age children.

Residents of Ankole region have been urged to stop the act of marrying under age children.

Rt. Maj.  Jessica Alupo, the vice president of Uganda made the remarks while speaking at fundraising for a computer lab and other classroom blocks for Rweicumu primary school in Masheruka town council, Sheema district where about UGX 92.8 million was collected and construction is set to start immediately.

The call follows a video that went viral on social media in which a 40-year-old woman and five men who connived to kidnap a 14-year-old student for a forced marriage in Kyotera District.

According to Police in Kyotera district, the victim (names withheld) is a Senior One at Kabaale -Ssanje Secondary School in Kyotera District.

Police also revealed that an aunt to the student was allegedly promised UGX 250, 000 to kidnap and take the girl to a rented room at Kamuganja Village, Kakuuto Sub-County, where a 55-year-old man was waiting to take the girl as his wife.

Speaking to our reporter, Hon. Naome Kibaaju, the woman member of parliament of Sheema County North together with Hon. Rosemary Nyakikongoro who re-echoed what the vice president said, emphasized that they are ready to arrest and charge whoever gets involved in such acts of early marriages.

“A Ugandan girl child is a golden treasure and therefore needs to be handled with care,” said Hon Naome Kibaaju. 

According to the UNICEF Global database 2020, and the Uganda Demographic Health survey 2016, Uganda has the 16th highest prevalence of child marriage in the world, with an estimated 4 million child brides.

The statistics also indicate that 34%of women are married before the age of 18 and 7.3% before the age of 15.

Alain Sibenaler, the Uganda country representative United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) noted that child marriage which is rooted in social and gender inequalities violates the basic rights of girls and women.

Sibenaler added that the current evidence shows that 25% of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually are from teenage mothers, with more than 300,000 pregnancies ending in unsafe abortions.

According to UNFPA, child marriage prevalence is highest in Northern (59%), followed by Western (58%), Eastern (52%), East Central (52%), West Nile (50%), Central 2 (46%), Central 1 (41%), Southwest (37%), and Kampala (21%).

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