Guinean President wants to put an end to young girls marriage

The President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló said that henceforth no female child should be given in marriage and warned that those who do so will be held responsible by the state.

Sissoco Embaló was speaking to a group of Muslim faithful who prayed with the Head of state at the Presidency of the Republic, in what was the first Friday prayer of the Muslim month of Ramadan.

After clarifying his order to ban child begging in the country, the President addressed the issue of female child marriage that has been a practice in several Islamic communities in Guinea-Bissau.

“Don’t accept the marriage of anyone. Whoever gives you in marriage do not accept it, you can come and talk to the President,” Umaro Sissoco Embaló said as he addressed a group of female children who prayed for the first time in the backyard of the Palace of the Republic in Bissau.

After personally asking each of the children their name, age and whether they go to the official school, Umaro Sissoco Embaló invited them to deny any intention of marriage.
“Whoever speaks to you about marriage tell him you don’t want to because you want to go to school,” said Embaló. Being clearer in his words, the Guinean President said that from now on “this marriage of children aged 14, 15, 17 or 20 is over.”

“Children have to go to school. In Guinea-Bissau the official school is in Portuguese, but we do not prevent anyone from sending their child to the Koranic school,” noted Sissoco Embalo, who wants to see children graduate as doctors, engineers, or lawyers.