Benin + 10 more

West African girls’ Manifesto on ending harmful traditional practices

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As the 3rd African Girl Summit focusing on “Culture, Human Rights and Accountability; Accelerating End to Harmful Practices” starts in Niamey, we, African Girls from Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Chad and Liberia met together on November 12, 2021 to ensure our voices and our solutions are heard by African leaders during the summit. This Manifesto is our collective call to action.

Leaders, ACT NOW, our lives are at risk !

The role of education: “Education can be a weapon to drive away poverty. If communities are educated, that can help chase away child marriage. Education is the only weapon to escape poverty.” Kadiatu (Sierra Leone). “Educate all African girls to offer them a future as leaders and integrate the consequences of harmful practices in our curricula at school” “It’s not about going to school; it’s about staying in school, the longer girls stay in school, the less likely they would be engaged in child marriage - Kadiatu, 22 (Sierra Leone). “Access to free Education is critical to reduce violence against Girls. The more girls are educated, the more protected they will be” “Education can eradicate forced marriages because a girl who has been educated knows what is good for her and also knows where and how to get assistance when at risk” “If there are girls who are not in school, they must be enrolled in training centres so that they are selfsufficient and this can reduce marriages, pregnancies and so much other violence. There is a need to further raise awareness of the harmful consequences of female circumcision.”