ZONTA International has joined forces with UNICEF and committed US$2,000,000 to UNICEF USA to support the Global Programme to End Child Marriage in 12 countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.
The program is turning commitment into tangible action to effect meaningful and lasting change in girls’ lives by focusing on five strategies: a) Building the skills and knowledge of girls at risk of child marriage, b) Supporting households in demonstrating positive attitudes towards adolescent girls, c) Strengthening systems that deliver services to adolescent girls, d) Ensuring laws and policies protect and promote adolescent girls’ rights e) Generating and using robust data to inform programs and policies relating to adolescent girls.
In the Philippines, there are laws that prohibiting early marriages. This may be one of the biggest factors, culture and religion aside, on why early marriage is not common in the country. The Family Code provides that only parties who are of legal age, that is 18 years or older, and not under any of the impediments under the law have the capacity to enter into a contract of marriage. Furthermore, if either or both of the parties are between the ages of 18 and 21, their respective fathers, mothers, surviving parents or guardians or persons having legal charge of them must signify in writing their consent to their marriage. Corollary, a contract of marriage may be annulled when the above mentioned consent is absent. (GK/GGA)