End child marriage, play Rugby
End child marriage, play Rugby

Yes, it is possible.

During the Girls Not Brides (GNB)-Uganda second National Girl Summit this week, Flavia Agenorwot was given an opportunity to talk about RTLs strategy to fight child marriage, early unions and teenage pregnancy.

Flavia spoke about how RTL uses rugby as a tool to reach out to girls and boys who are in school and also those out of school. RTL engages both girls and boys in our approach as it is not possible to attain gender equity without cooperation from both genders.

Boys are also at risk of forced child marriage so it is important to include them in our fight. Rugby is a great tool to use for mobilisation as it is a team sport therefore attractive to the youth. It is also considered a man’s sport so by playing rugby, girls and women are already challenging societal perceptions.

In addition to engaging the youth, RTL involves all members of the community – teachers, health workers, youth leaders, church leaders, sub county officials and duty bearers (LCs, RDCs, police etc), parents, guardians etc because everyone has an important part to play in preventing child marriage.

Flavia interacted with members from various CSOs, religious bodies and other stakeholders in Uganda’s battle to end child marriage.

The biggest challenges to this battle are, it is difficult to change people’s attitudes towards girls and their „value“ so it will take a lot of time and patience to do so. Additionally, the rampant poverty in Uganda exacerbates the problem. Despite the different approaches taken to try and solve this problem, the goal is the same – END CHILD MARRIAGE!

The theme of this year’s summit was „Securing Uganda’s Future: Support the Girl Child to live her full potential.”

Text and photo by Helen Koyokoyo Buteme. Thank you.