The National Council for Childhood (NCCM) and Motherhood has succeeded in stopping an attempt to marry off a 16-year-old girl in a village in Qena, some 580km south of Cairo.
Azza al-Ashmawi, Secretary-General of the NCCM, explained that the Council received a a call for help on its Facebook page from a Qena villager who said the girl would be married that day. He left the girl’s name and address. The NCCM instantly filed an official complaint through the child helpline, and dispatched a committee to the address of the girl to take the necessary legal action. Ashmawi said that the parents of the child met the committee and said that it was just a betrothal and that the marriage would take place later, when the bride was of legal age.
Dr Ashmawi confirmed that the committee of Childhood Protection in Qena took all necessary measures to prevent marriages of girls below the age of 18, the youngest age for marriage according to the Egyptian Constitution and law. She stressed that child marriage is a violation of the rights of girls and women, leading them to abruptly end their education by dropping out of school, and increasingly exposing them to domestic violence and health problems on account of early childbearing and delivery. In short, Dr Ashmawi said, child marriage deprives women of chances of a better life.
She urged everyone to promptly report any violation to the child helpline 16000.
18 August 2019