Masindi District leaders sickened by increased teenage marriages

Masindi District leaders sickened by increased teenage marriages
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In Masindi District, leaders are expressing deep concern over the disturbing trend of parents marrying off their young daughters in exchange for bride wealth.

The district, a part of the culturally diverse Bunyoro Sub region, is grappling with this issue despite ongoing efforts to sensitize the community.

Sasino, the Deputy RDC of Masindi, issued a stern warning, stating,

"You can't imagine that parents here in this era can marry off their daughters below the age of sixteen in the guise of getting money from men; this, as leaders, we will not allow to happen."

Local leaders, such as Asiimwe Solomon, the Karujubu division chairman LC 3, are actively engaged in sensitization efforts. Solomon revealed the shocking excuse some parents provide:

"We do sensitizations, but you can't even believe it that a parent stands boldly and tells how they don't have money to educate their daughters, and the only thing they can do is marrying them off at a tender age. But we have free education right from primary, secondary, and some tertiary institutions, so the claim of no fees can't stand out."

Karamagi Annet, the Masindi district probation and welfare officer, emphasized the need for a united front in tackling the issue.

"There is a need for joint efforts by all leaders – religious, cultural, and political – on mindset change for people to know why it's important to educate their children but also the risks associated with early marriages," she urged.

Sasino Dhaala, the Masindi deputy resident District commissioner, stressed the legal consequences for those engaging in teenage marriages.

"What kind of parents are who can't even take care of your girls, marrying off at an early age? Do it at your own risk because no law in Uganda allows marrying off young girls, no matter the excuse of not having money," Sasino warned.

Leaders are actively engaged in sensitizing the public through various channels, including radio broadcasts, meetings, and gatherings at religious institutions.

The focus is not only on the importance of raising responsible children but also on the potential dangers awaiting young girls forced into early marriages, as they risk losing out on a promising future.

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