Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has cancelled her visit to Senegal for security reasons, the Danish Foreign Ministry has stated. The Crown Princess was supposed to attend an international meeting on child marriages.
Usually, Crown Princess Mary would accompany Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation on a trip to Senegal. However, today the Danish Foreign Ministry has stated that both the Crown Princess and the minister will not travel to the African country. The reason is that of safety concerns.
Every seven seconds a girl under the age of 15 marries. In Senegal, 32 percent of the girls get married under the age of 18. In addition, many women and girls in the Sahel region do not have access to family planning, health care and sexual education. It is, therefore, that an international conference on child marriage in West- and Central-Africa is organised in Senegal next week. The Minister for Development Cooperation said she thought it was a pity that the Crown Princess and she wouldn’t be able to go but promised that Denmark would continue to contribute to the debate and stride against child marriages: “Denmark will continue the stride in the coming years. We support the progressive forces working in the region and globally to reach the world goal of abolishing child marriages. It is important that concrete results are delivered.”
On the other hand, Princess Mabel of Orange is still going to the international meeting in Senegal. Princess Mabel is the founder of “Girls not Brides”, a global partnership committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. Princess Mabel has been fighting against child marriages for a long time. On Saturday, Girls not Brides tweeted about the conference: “Next week, we’re in Dakar for the high-level meeting on
#childmarriage in West and Central Africa. Will you be there? #HLMWCA17″
Princess Mabel has previously stated that she expects that crucial steps will be taken during the conference. Princess Mabel is the sister-in-law of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.