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Vow to end child marriage

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
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Rt. Hon President Mrs. Bidhya Devi Bhandari along with Prince Harry, other dignitaries as well as adolescents at the Inaugural Session of the Nepal Girl Summit

President Bidya Bhandari and Britain’s Prince Harry at the inauguration of the 2016 Girl Summit. Photo: RSS

President Bidya Bhandari and Britain’s Prince Harry on Wednesday inaugurated the 2016 Girl Summit, an initiative of the Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Welfare as part of its commitment to end child marriage by 2030.

Speaking on the occasion, Prince Harry commended the Nepali government for its active role in tackling such issues, demonstrated by a decrease of 10 per cent in child marriage over the last decade.

“Female leadership in Nepal now sets a powerful example, with women occupying the roles of President and Speaker. But the biggest reason for our optimism is the inspiring girls and boys in this room who care so much about changing attitudes towards young women in this country,” he added.

Supported by DFID and UNICEF, the one-day program was a culmination of weeks of discussions with adolescents and community leaders in 15 districts of Nepal on the challenges and solutions of eradicating child marriage.

The program featured sessions, activities and performances aimed at raising awareness of the challenges that remain and the progress Nepal has made. Moreover, panel discussions were held to discuss the role of policies, provisions, social norms fuelling gender inequalities, and youth involvement in ending the practice.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and Minister of Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Chandra Prasad Mainali reiterated the government’s commitment to eliminating child marriage. He said: “To streamline initiatives the government of Nepal has already prepared the National Strategy to End Child Marriage, which has just been approved by the government.”

According to the Ministry, nearly half of the female population in Nepal between 20 and 49 were married before their 18th birthday, and among them 15 percent were less than 15 years of age. In 2014 during the London Girl Summit, Nepal had pledged to end child marriage by 2030 and the event marks the first of its kind to be held in the country.

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One Response to “Vow to end child marriage”

  1. Ravi raj kaur on Says:

    Education is the best for any girls future. Once an active member of civil society she will make a better commitment. Inequality is not a part of culture, but premature marriages usually cover up lack of education.

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