Youth Play a Critical Role at 2015 African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage

Women Deliver is committed to strengthening and expanding the role of young people at every level  of leadership, and that commitment was embodied at the first-ever African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage held in Lusaka, Zambia on November 26-27, 2015. The summit aimed to share good practices and challenges in ending child marriage, and to secure and renew commitments  from African stakeholders towards that goal.
In collaboration with Plan International and, the Girl Generation, and led by Girls Not Brides, Women Deliver helped identify youth delegation participants helped identify youth delegation participations at the Summit. The youth delegation helped draft the  participated in a preparation workshop and in the creation of at Summit Youth Outcome Statement, which calls on African states, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in the development and humanitarian sectors, the media, and the youth generation daughters and sons of Africa to implement the social and political changes necessary to end child marriage and defend the rights of the girl child.

“Educating girls is possible if we are able to end harmful practices that don’t allow girls to have equal education opportunities with boys,” noted Onward Chironda and Nehsuh Carine Alongifor, two Women Deliver Young Leaders who attended the Summit. “The Youth Outcome Statement of the Summit emphasizes that everyone has a role to play in ending child marriage, from international and local organizations, to communities themselves, including religious and traditional leaders, parents, men and boys, and girls themselves.”

Advocacy events like the 2015 African Girls’ Summit provide a unique opportunity for critical stakeholders to tackle issues that affect girls and women, and youth participation is vital to ensuring that young people’s voices and perspectives are respected and valued. Young people are experts in their own lives and they are shifting the global health paradigm to be more responsive to the needs of adolescents and youth. The 2015 African Girls Summit is just the beginning.

To read the full Youth Outcome Statement, click here.  To read the Women Deliver Young Leaders Onward Chironda and Nehsuh Carine Alongifor’s account of the 2015 African Girls’ Summit, visit our blog.


Photo via: Girls Not Brides

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