Canada helps girls realize their full potential in Côte d’Ivoire 

Welcoming prominent speakers at the panel discussion.
“I invite all of you to defend and protect human rights, at all levels, with determination and conviction.”
Canadian Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Patricia McCullagh.

Ivorian Minister for Solidarity, Family, Women and Children, Anne-Désirée Ouloto.

Obstetrician-gynecologist Frédérique Yavé.

Canada’s ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Patricia McCullagh responds to journalists’ questions.

The Trapped Childhood documentary film

In partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, the Canadian Embassy organized a panel discussion on child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). 

A short documentary “The Trapped Childhood” telling the story of a young Burkinabe girl who was forced to marry a man her father’s age, was shown to raise the audience’s awareness and lay the foundations for the event. 

The film was followed by a panel discussion on CEFM from a number of different perspectives to underline that efforts are needed from all facets of communities: a senior legal officer, an obstetrician-gynecologist, a Muslim religious leader, a sociologist, and a psychologist, all presented the negative effects of CEFM on girls.  The speakers engaged in an insightful dialogue on child marriage issues, each offering perspective from their respective professions.  All participants agreed that a strategy is needed to end CEFM. 

The event saw active participation and engagement from the media, civil society organizations, UNICEF, the African Union, and government representatives. The Ivorian Minister for Solidarity, Family, Women and Children, Anne Desiree Ouloto, in her opening statement, publicly affirmed the Ivorian government’s commitment to combat CEFM. 

Working together to end child marriage 

The panel discussion helped to forge new collaboration opportunities across various organizations working to end CEFM in Côte d’Ivoire. These partnerships will help to accelerate the momentum towards ending child marriage, so that girls around the world have the opportunity to live healthy and empowered lives.