Johannesburg, 19 April 2018: Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) is implementing a behaviour change communication project aimed at preventing child marriage in South Africa.
The project, dubbed Ending Child Marriage: Addressing Gender Based Sexual Violence Against Girls is funded by the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos). The project is responding to the fact that child marriage is highly prevalent in South Africa, and there is need for concerted efforts by stakeholders to address this violent practice.
Child marriage is gender-based violence, particularly against girls who suffer disproportionate physical and psychological injury that flows directly from child marriage. Closely related to exposure to physical, emotional and sexual violence, is the likelihood to contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Child marriage also exposes girls to emotional and psychological problems associated with early pregnancies, child bearing and motherhood.
To address the social, cultural and economic aspects that influence child marriage, Panos through the project is doing the following:
Through the increased awareness on the consequences of child marriage as a form of GBV, Panos believes that there will be a change in the perceptions and attitudes of communities towards promotion and protection of women and girls’ rights, thereby leading to their socio-economic development.
Lilian Saka Kiefer
Executive Director, Panos Institute Southern Africa,