Causes and Consequences of Early Girl Child Marriage in Luuka District

Research Issue.

Early marriage is referred to explicitly in the 1956 UN supplementary convention on the abolition of slave trade and the marriage institution, as practiced similarly to slavery. Uganda ratified the convention on the elimination of all discrimination against women (CEDAN). There also exists a law by act of parliament on defilement, which clearly spells out that sex intercourse with a girl below, the age of 18 (with or without consent) is a crime punishable by law, which may lead to a maximum death sentence if convicted in a court of law. Nonetheless, early marriage is still too commonly practiced in Uganda. The adverse effects of early marriage on children and young people is an issue which should be addressed when considering the application of the convention on the rights of children, especially with respect to girls.

Though the law is very clear, the rate of occurrence of child abuse through marriage in Uganda is alarming. According to the UN data published in the (New Vision April 2018) Uganda has the highest rate of occurrence of young mothers in Africa. NWASEA deemed it fit to design this research proposal using participatory methods to enable the community recognize and analyze the causes and consequences of early girl child marriage. The information generated will help policy makers to design programs that can address the issue and find lasting solutions to this problem.

Research Description.

Study Objectives:

  1. To find the root cause of early girl child marriage in Luuka District.

  2. To discuss the consequences / effects of early child marriage to young mothers, home in our rural communities.

  3. To come up with concrete suggestions/recommendations as to how such marriages can be controlled

Area of studyLuuka District is located in Eastern Uganda 80Km East of Kampala bordering Kaliro district to the East, Kamuli Iganga District to the west, and Jinja to the south .The population according to the 1991 National Population Census was 945,781, of whom female were 484,704 and male were 461,077,people making it the most populated district in Uganda. The child marriages Research Project shall be carried out in three sub counties of Luuka District.

Sample Selection/size: The study shall target 3 sub counties of Luuka District as follows; i) Waibuga Sub County, ii) Bukanga Sub County and iii) Luuka Town Council. The proposed focus group categories shall be as follows: Local council women groups [5 groups per sub county], Youth groups [5 groups per sub county], Elderly [5 groups per sub county], Head teachers and teachers, Local government councils, Traditional Birth Attendants/medical workers at Health Center 2 and 3 plus Girls and men

Methodology: Focus group discussion and key informant interviews shall be the methods used during data collection. Interview guides specifically designed to answer the study objectives shall be administered.

With the help of the Local Leaders and Opinion Leaders, people shall be mobilized and an average of 9-10 people of similar social-economic status shall participate in group discussion. For each group two facilitators will administer the discussions, one mainly guiding the discussion and another jotting down points in the notebook. Facilitators will make sure each and everybody participates in the discussion freely.

Data analysis: The verbatim shall be typed out and then summarized for each group to provide analytical report verbatim of focus discussions with discussants of the same characteristics (e.g. youth) shall be grouped for analytical purposes. The analysis that shall be made will result in different analytical reports. The analytical reports shall be summarized, and this will constitute the summary report on early child marriage, as it will be presented.

Dissemination/Feedback: This shall be done at the District Luuka headquarters. The community together with District leaders, police and law enforcement officers will listen to the findings and make their comments and feedback, which will be captured by the NWASEA consultant. Once all agree, the draft final report will be produced and shared with leaders of sub counties and the district for final review. The final report will then be produced and shared with the law reform commission, parliament and the human rights commission for policy review and direction.

Project Impact:

The research will yield better and more nearly complete and accurate information from the community about the causes and consequences of early girl child marriage in Luuka District. This research will contribute to finding salient features hindering integration of young women and the girl child into the mainstream economy of Uganda. It will produce useful information to use when evaluating community intervention and initiative to address this community issue.

Student/volunteer profile:

The Intern/Volunteer(s) must be studying, having a background or interest in designing social policy, women empowerment and gender and development. Good Communication skills, empathy and social interaction skills will be vital for this research project. Interpreters will be there to facilitate the language barrier during the question and answer sessions where appropriate.

Description of Community Partner.

The community organization you will work with is called ‘The National Women Association for Social and Education Advancement (NWASEA). It is an indigenous Non-Governmental Organization founded in 1995 by 20 women. The main objective of NWASEA is to emancipate and empower Ugandan women and girls in a manner that enables the poor, the neglected, and the disadvantaged to be at the center of production and target for decision-making process. The priorities and directions of NWASEA place great emphasis on designing audited needs of communities with full participation of the local people. It is located in Iganga, 35km from Jinja.

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