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UNESCO, others deplore child marriage

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PHOTO: ThisisAfrica

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has stressed the need to teach young people to make informed decisions about their health and sexuality to curtail child marriages, early and unintended pregnancies. 

Officer in Charge of the UNESCO regional office in Abuja, Mr. Mamadou Lamine Sow, who disclosed this said UNESCO would review available data on young people affected by child marriages, adolescent pregnancies, HIV, sexual and gender-based violence with the aim of providing knowledge and skills that would enhance their wellbeing.

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He stated this at a two-day stakeholders’ consultation: Towards a West and Central African Commitment for Educated, Healthy and Thriving Adolescents and Young People, held in Abuja.

Sow said young people, especially girls and young women can be helped to realise their potential by investing in their education, health, employment opportunities, and empowerment. 

“The education, health, and wellbeing of young people is at the heart of UNESCO’s priorities. That is why today, we are working to create better conditions for adolescents and young people to make informed decisions about their health, sexuality, and reproduction, reduce the number of new HIV infections, early and unintended pregnancies, and improve access to sexual and reparative health.

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“We will stand with you to articulate factual and culturally accepted gender-sensitive actions for educated, healthy, and thriving Adolescents and young people in Nigeria in particular and in across west and central Africa.”   

While painting the sad picture of the state of a young girl’s suffering from Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF), due to early and child marriage, as well as Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), across Nigeria, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Pauline Tallen said parents should not give out their children for marriage at their tender age, urging them to treat both sexes equally without discriminating on any grounds.

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