29, November 2019
Cameroon’s Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family on Thursday said it is working on a piece of legislation to end child marriage in the country.
Officials said the draft bill will be presented to Parliament for approval early next week.
“In Cameroon more than 62 percent of women have gone into child marriages. And we think that it is important to have a legal framework which can help us put an end to this phenomenon which is devastating and preventing the girl child from going to school and failing to fulfill her potentials,” Justine Che, executive director of Women in Alternative Action, a civil society organization working on the proposal in collaboration with the ministry told reporters in the capital, Yaounde.
Cameroon’s Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family Marie-Therese Abena Ondoa said with the law, there will be fewer girls dropping out of school and fewer girls forced to marry at an early age.
“It will ensure the development of girls in all aspects and enhance a just society where boys and girls excel equally,” Ondoa said.
The initiative falls within the framework of the global action to eliminate child marriage and female genital mutilation, according to officials.
Child and forced marriages remain a major concern in Cameroon and the situation is more preoccupying in the Far North Region where about 80 percent of women marry prematurely, according government statistics.