Good Practices on Engagement with Traditional Leaders to End Child Marriage & Other Harmful Practices Against Women
UN Women has been engaging with the traditional and cultural leaders and authorities to reenergize their influence of culture, customs, traditions and norms as key catalysts in the efforts to end Child Marriage and FGM/C including the development, review and enforcement of laws. The engagements have built a coordinated and sustainable approach to recognise and contribute to the African Union led commitments and campaign to end child marriage and female genital mutilation. It has also enhanced a collective understanding of the crisis at end of the high abuse of children especially girls through child marriage, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices and its impact on development; to share experiences, successes, best practices and challenges among each other to enable scale up of efforts; and to set the agenda for a high level consultations on movement building for traditional and cultural authorities in ending child marriage, female genital mutilation and promoting gender equality. The engagement has also been informed by the realities in Africa and grounded by the regional and international commitments to advance dignity, human rights and development of African nations including leverage on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights, and the Africa Common Position on Ending Child Marriage. These stakeholders requested for a compendium of good practices showcasing how traditional and cultural leaders and authorities have engaged with their communities to end these harmful practices against women and girls. As such, UN Women regional office for East and Southern Africa has collected a number of good practices that are replicable and are feasible within the framework of this engagement. These are just but a few selected examples of how these stakeholders have contributed to the efforts towards ending child marriage, FGM/C and other harmful practices against women and girls in Africa.