Dankpen Initiative to Oppose Forced Marriage
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Info about the Dankpen Initiative to Oppose Forced Marriage
In Dankpen Prefecture in Togo many local leaders feel that the problem of forced early marriage of young women is one of the practices that continues to retard the region's development. Forced early marriage impacts fifty percent of the young women between the ages of 13 and 16, and ends any further possibility for them to pursue education and attend school. This initiative will encourage both proponents as well as opponents of forced marriage to participate. Local people will facilitate under the supervision of a pilot team, composed of local social workers, NGO members and Peace Corps Volunteers.The group plans to establish a training program for local representatives which will be charged with preventive actions as well as identifying forced marriages and prosecuting cases of forced marriage. In severe cases where families disown their daughters for refusing to marry, the local community groups will place the girl in free apprenticeship training programs, learning trades so that she will be able to support herself. Relevant Togolese law and matrimonial rights doctrines will be translated into local language and used in awareness-raising campaigns. Local student theater groups will prepare and perform theater sketches on the theme in order to further the spread of information and make it accessible to all. the project will be in effect over a three year period. The first phase will involve training and installation of the canton committees, and engaging them in awareness-raising campaigns. The second phase will follow-up on their progress and ensure that their work can continue autonomously. Peace Corps funding is being requested to assist with training expenses for this program.