London based African women’s charity FORWARD who has campaigned on female genital mutilation (FGM) for over 30 years is launching the Make Child Mothers Count in Tanzania campaign in collaboration with the @GlobalGiving Accelerator Crowdfunding Campaign.
FORWARD has until May 30th to raise £3,000. If the target is reached the charity will benefit from over £14,000 in matching funding and bonuses from Global Giving. Donors consequently have the opportunity to see their contributions go much further and make a bigger impact.
FORWARD’s Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, Head of Global Advocacy and Partnerships says “We know that education is a girl’s best defence against the devastating health and social consequences of child motherhood. The ultimate goal of our Make Child Mothers Count in Tanzania campaign is to ensure that more girls complete their education and enjoy their basic human rights. The project delivered with local partners Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF) provides leadership training and mentoring support, establishes a young women’s network, for activism and outreach to their peers, supports entrepreneurship and life skills and critically, works with local policy makers to encourage a more enabling environment that includes child pregnancy prevention and response strategies. Through these activities we hope to improve the life options of these vulnerable girls (including the opportunity to return to education) and to end the cycles of poverty, economic dependence and sexual and gender based violence that child mothers are too often subjected to.”
The situation in Tanzania remains critical; 27 in every 100 girls fall pregnant between the ages of 15-19, with the figure rising to 37% in rural areas. In many communities child pregnancy and motherhood is directly linked to female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, the loss of educational opportunities and sexual and gender based violence.
When primary and secondary school aged girls undergo FGM they are often married to men significantly older than themselves, in a country where the legal age of marriage for girls is just 14 years old. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancies, when these girls fall pregnant they are prevented from returning to school owing to discriminatory policy, prevailing social norms, stigma and gender inequality. With no education girls have no independent means of survival and become economically dependent, leaving them vulnerable to sexual and gender based violence. The loss of education often leads to a loss of self-esteem and social standing within the community. Amongst all these challenges girls must also contend with issues such as unsafe abortions and the risk of maternal death.
The project aligns with the new global Sustainable Development Goals which provide an impetus for governments and NGOs to invest in the rights of girls and young women, especially those most vulnerable due to age, location, marital status and poverty.
Donations can be made to Make Child Mothers Count in Tanzania here.
To find out more about the work of FORWARD click here.
Notes to Editors:
For media enquiries please contact: Naomi Reid: [email protected] , Tel: 020 8960 4000 (option 6)
This video showcases the positive work that has already been done in Tanzania. HAKI YA BINTI” project, mobilizing action to safeguard rights of girls in Tanzania
This video explores the devastating consequences of child motherhood in Tanzania. Pregnant at 13, Child Mothers in Tanzania
FORWARD is an African Diaspora women led UK campaign and support charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African girls and women. FORWARD works in the UK, Europe and Africa to help change practices and policies that affect access, dignity and wellbeing. forwarduk.org.uk Twitter: @FORWARDUK
FORWARD has been campaigning against FGM and other forms of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) affecting African women and girls for 30 years.