Panel Discussion: Spotlight on Progress "Moving up the Agenda: Public and Political"

Context: This presentation is from one of the 14 "Spotlights on Progress" video-recorded sessions from the Girl Summit 2014, London, United Kingdom (UK). The sessions were organised to share best practice between practitioners, grassroots activists, and government ministers across the issues of female genital mutilation (FGM) (also FGM/C - female genital mutilation/cutting) and child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM). Girl Summit is a project of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.

Profile of speaker: A featured panelist of this Spotlight session was Dr. Albino Francisco, Executive Director, National Coalition to Eliminate Child Marriage (ROSC), Mozambique, whose presentation was entitled "Advocacy to place Child Marriage on the national political agenda, Mozambique". From the Summit summary: "Albino has worked in the civil society sector in Mozambique for the last decade, focused on policy advocacy and strengthening Civil Society capacity to participate in policy dialogue for development. He is currently Executive Director of the Civil Society Forum for Child Rights (ROSC). The forum brings together more than 100 national and international NGOs to promote and protect the rights of children in Mozambique. Albino is also Coordinator of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage."
 
Strategy overview: From Summit documentation of Dr. Francisco's comments: "The National Coalition was established in 2012 to galvanize national commitment at the highest levels to eliminate child marriage, promoting a national debate and advocacy efforts around child marriage in Mozambique. Members are national and international civil society organizations, working closely with the UN, bilateral agencies, government and other relevant actors. The Coalition works to include child marriage issues within the governance process and for implementation of policies for the fulfilment of the rights of the child, focused on child marriage. The Coalition develops advocacy actions jointly with its partners, based on the evidence. It is heavily involved in the design of the National Strategy to Prevent and Eliminate Child Marriage led by the Ministry of Women and Social Action." Research from 2011 has informed this policy development.  "An example of the coalition’s use of the media for advocacy is the video (produced by Magnum Photography in partnership with UNICEF) on child rights in Mozambique: 'Too Young to Marry'."

From the Girls not Brides website: "In 2011 the Mozambican government, in partnership with civil society and UNICEF [the United Nations Children's Fund], launched a national campaign for Zero Tolerance to Violence and Child Abuse to raise awareness of issues affecting children, such as early marriage. In July 2014, the government launched a national campaign to prevent and combat early marriage at the provincial level. Currently, the government and its partners are collaborating on the elaboration of a National Strategy for the Prevention and Combating of Early Marriage (2015-2019)."

Some examples of communication-related initiatives include: "The Mozambique coalition to end child marriage launched a 'Civil Society Position on Child Marriage in Mozambique' and held a high-level  meeting in Maputo to discuss 'The role of civil society organisations to end child marriage and their obligations towards the African  Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child', in the presence of government representative and members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The coalition also organised a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders in Nampula province, one of the areas most affected by child marriage in Mozambique." It has held televised debates on child marriage to raise public awareness. Some ROSC reports are available here.

Overview of this Summit Session: From the Girl Summit summary document: "An exchange of experiences in getting FGM and CEFM onto the agenda and building public and political support to end these harmful practices. Lessons will range from local to international action, highlighting a range of approaches from networks and coalitions to campaigns and the media. Discussion will focus on key elements that have contributed to success, how to capture more attention and create more pressure, and challenges in keeping FGM and CEFM high on the agenda."

The speakers for this session are:

Introduction: Permanent Secretary Linus Awute, Ministry of Health, Nigeria.

Magreth Kibasa Children’s Dignity Forum, Tanzania.

John Chua,Wadi.

Dr Albino Francisco, Executive Director, National Coalition to Eliminate Child Marriage.

Elise Petitpas, Advocacy Officer, Amnesty International.

Naz Ahmed and Lisa Zimmermann, student and teacher - The City Academy Bristol/Integrate Bristol.

"The session is moderated by Saroja Coehlo, Radio Editor and Presenter, formerly Environment Editor and Radio Presenter at Deutsche Welle."

Footage of this (available below) and other "Spotlights" are available on DFID’s YouTube channel.

The Girl Summit is a project of DFID. Click here and scroll down to see the full list of individuals and organisations committed to working on girls' issues, as well as a list of Girl Summit Charter signatories.

Source: 

DFID Girl Summit Outcomes website and the Girls not Brides website, accessed on August 25 2015.

See video