Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Forced marriage of children has disastrous consequence in Afghanistan: Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani said that children should be protected against child marriage. She was speaking during the launch of National Action Plan to Eliminate Early and Child Marriage in Kabul today April 18.  "Forced marriage of children is sorrowful. According to science and medics, child marriage is harmful highly risky and has disastrous consequence in the country,”  the First Lady said. According to Rula Ghani, child marriage could be a factor of increase in maternal death rate in the country. Child marriage is a major problem in Afghanistan. It is said to carry the risk of sexual violence and health risks relating to early birth. “In our country, children’s consent is not considered during marriage. We will work to prevent early marriages in Afghanistan. With the implementation of National Action Plan to Eliminate Early and Child Marriage, we will prevent this sorrowful tragedy and reduce violence in Afghanistan,”  said Habiba Wahaj, an adviser on women’s affairs. According to Afghan Ministry of Public Health last year, 53% of women aged between 25 and 49 were marked before the age of 18. “A girl who is below 18 is capable of rapidly gaining wisdom and knowledge from the people around her,”  Bannet Ndyananbangi, the UNFPA country representative, said during the event. “She can be one day, an inspiring leader, a productive worker, an innovator a caring parent to take any-other role that empowers a society. She can shape the future of her society. But all this depend on how we support her today.”  This is the first time that a national action plan is developed in Afghanistan to eliminate the practice of early and child marriage.
Rula Ghani is the current First Lady of Afghanistan and wife of the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. Rula Ghani was born Rula Saade and raised in Lebanon to a Lebanese Christian family. She received a diploma from Sciences Po, France, in 1969. She completed a master's degree in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut in 1974, where she had met her future husband, Ashraf Ghani.
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