RIVER EDGE, New Jersey — Joy For Children Uganda was founded in 2005 to work to eradicate child marriage, increase education, decrease the number of children experiencing violence, and help children who have disabilities in Uganda. Joy For Children Uganda advocates ending child marriage using many different strategies. These strategies include working to persuade Uganda’s Parliament to pass bills that work to end child marriage in Uganda, operating workshops that focus on ending child marriage in Uganda, establishing projects that work to end child marriage in Uganda, and working in conjunction with Girls Not Brides, The Ugandan National Alliance to End Child Marriage.
Girls Not Brides Uganda is instrumental in enacting the government’s National Strategy to End Child Marriages and Teenage Pregnancies in Uganda. They collaborate in conjunction with UNICEF, UNFEPA and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to ensure this strategy has a “mid-term review.”
Child marriage is defined as a child being forced to get married who is 0 through 17 years old. Around 40% of girls aged 17 and younger are forced into child marriage in Uganda. Below age 15, 7% of girls in Uganda are exploited through being married, and between ages 15 and 17, 34% of girls in Uganda are forced into child marriage. Based on this data, it is analyzed that 1,353,000 girls who were born in Uganda between 2005 and 2010 will be forced into child marriage by 2030. According to the World Bank and ICRW, women in Uganda would make an increase of $14.48 million if child marriage was eradicated. Six percent of boys aged 0 through 17 are forced into child marriage in Uganda. Across all the developing nations, girls in poverty account for 50% of the girls forced into child marriage.
Hosting A Capacity Workshop To Help End Child Marriage In Uganda
Joy For Children Uganda hosted a one-day capacity workshop where Ugandan Members of Parliament could work together to enhance and create laws/frameworks and policies to “align with 2020 U.N. General Assembly Resolution on child and early and forced marriage.” An example of a framework is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) model law. The goals of this are to strengthen laws and policies that ensure children in Uganda are not forced into child marriage and to get more money for budgetary allocations that make sure children are protected.
Working To Enact the Sexual Offenses Bill 2019 Into Law
Joy For Children Uganda spoke with people who work in Parliament in August 2022, to talk about how they can work together to enact the Sexual Offenses Bill 2019 into law. This meeting motivated Parliament to immediately allow Hon Sarah Adeke, the MP of Soroti District, to advocate for this bill to be passed into law. Hon Sarah Opendi, Hon Amos Okot, Hon Sarah Najuma and many other people also supported this bill being enacted into law. Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Bill in 2021 in Uganda, but Uganda’s president rejected it from being enacted into law. Joy For Uganda continues to advocate for this bill to be passed in conjunction with people who work in Parliament, particularly the Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children (UPFC) and Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA).
Working To Establish a Project To End Child Marriage
Joy For Children Uganda, in collaboration with all of the 34 grantees for the Girls First Fund in Uganda, is in the process of establishing a year-long project with the goals of strengthening the collaboration and expanding knowledge of how to eradicate child marriage in Uganda. A couple of the ways they plan to reach their goals are by creating a map of child marriage actors and establishing a National Girl summit to provide information internationally about coordination events that discuss ending child marriage.
Joy For Children Uganda Co-Chairs Girls Not Brides
Joy For Children Uganda is the Co-Chair of Girls Not Brides, The Ugandan National Alliance to end Child Marriage. Girls Not Brides Uganda is composed of more than 80 members from Uganda who work “at the community, district, regional and national level[s].”
An example of Girls Not Brides Uganda working to end child marriage in Uganda is their partnership with Child Rights Empowerment Development Organization CEDO, which is working in Masindi District to collect data, find champions and set up frequent “engagement meetings with key influencers.” They are developing a project in the Masindi District to influence policy and decision-makers, to work harder to put into effect the strategies of the National Strategy to End Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy. Because of these efforts, the Ugandan government has committed 2 million Ugandan shillings to help to end child marriage.
Joy For Children Uganda Reflection
Joy For Children Uganda’s influential dialogues and work, through their international project, workshops, speaking with Uganda’s Parliament, and work with Girls Not Brides Uganda, will hopefully spread awareness about child marriage in Uganda, motivating people across Uganda and other nations to come together to end child marriage.
– Rachael Weiser