The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, estimates more than 650 million women alive today were married before the age of 18. It has taken a considerable amount of time for people to understand that, and many souls have suffered unimaginably as a result. Child marriage refers to any formal marriage or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child. 2016 All Rights Reserved. "Ending this practice is not only the morally right thing to do but also the economically smart thing to do." Child marriage is a violation of children’s human rights and an extreme manifestation of gender inequality. The law was reinforced in 1984, but child marriage still happens on a large scale. Take action: Keep crisis-affected girls in school. One of the most prominent examples is of Numbers … Community level change underpins all of our efforts in preventing child marriage and mitigating the harmful effects for married girls. All donations are tax deductible. Babies born to … Thanks to Unchained’s relentless advocacy, that is changing. Read the case study. Forcing a marriage on a child, regardless of caste, creed or gender, is the most atrocious of crimes that one can commit against children – against humanity. In California and Louisiana, opponents of change have argued that raising the minimum marriage age is an ineffective solution since other child welfare laws already can prevent … Child marriage, or marriage before 18, was legal in all 50 U.S. states. Without progress to prevent child marriage, the number of girls married as children will double by 2050, and Africa will surpass South Asia as the region with the highest number of child … Find out more, © Copyright 2002 - 2021 All Rights Reserved, Establish and Implement Laws and Policies, A Theory of Change on Child Marriage – Girls Not Brides, A three-step guide to developing a collective Theory of Change, Recommended indicators for Girls Not Brides members working to address child marriage, How empowering girls can help end child marriage, Zambia: how safe spaces for girls are preventing child marriage, A simple solution to a major problem: how information empowers girls against child marriage, The roving shelters: improving girls’ lives in post-earthquake Nepal, How educating girls prevents child marriage: Insights from Ethiopia, Integrated project for empowering adolescent girls, Abriendo oportunidades (“Opening opportunities”), Female-friendly spaces in a post-earthquake Nepal, The Ishraq program for out-of-school girls: from pilot to scale-up, Delaying child marriage through community based skills development programs for girls: results from a randomized controlled study in rural Bangladesh. Photo credit: HIV Aids Alliance. There is a strong link between poverty and child marriage. In recent years child marriage has gained increasing prominence on international and national development agendas. Child marriage refers to the illegal practice of marrying off children below the legal age. 87% of our college scholarship students are young women, 84% of our college graduates in 2015 are women, 75% of children in the sponsorship program are girls. Wanjala Wafula, co-founder of Coexist Initiative, talking to a group of men about violence against women and girls in the community. In fact, girls’ risk of death in pregnancy or childbirth increases five-fold if they marry at or younger than 14, compared to … Girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. 1. Registering births and marriages helps prevent child marriage by proving the age of a girl and her partner and means that girls and women are able to seek financial and legal redress if the marriage ends. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Solutions: Work with religious and traditional leaders to raise awareness of the law, the harmful impact of child marriage and alternatives for girls. PO Box 2345 Sisters, OR 97759-2345 Girls need the support to make the transition into secondary school. “Village girls stop child marriages”… “Priests join the fight against child marriage”. Today, we have a unique opportunity to act on this momentum and accelerate our efforts to help change the lives of girls and young women all over the world. In addition, education ensures girls acquire the skills and knowledge to find employment and a means to support their families. "UNICEF believes that, because marriage under the age of 18 may threaten a child's human rights (including the right to education, leisure, good health, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination), the best way to ensure the protection of children's rights is to set a minimum age limit of 18 for marriage. A toolkit for religious communities to end violence against women, Ladies and gentle men: boys and men in India need a new meaning for masculine, Summary: bringing religious leaders on board. Child marriage is still prevalent in many parts of the world, and affects girls and women from across communities. Nepal: Aura Freedom International and Apeiron run female-friendly spaces in post-earthquake Nepal, providing displaced women and girls with information, services, and ways to report violence including child marriage. The poorest girls and women in India and the Dominican Republic marry on average four years earlier than the wealthiest, and in the least developed countries in the world, 40 percent of all girls are married before reaching adulthood. Ensuring there are adequate child protection mechanisms in place is an important part of our efforts to end child marriage. Read the case study. Read the case study. Educated women also become good role models for other girls. Child marriage is often linked to patriarchal attitudes towards girls, including the need to safeguard family ‘honour’. Child protection services need to be accessible via a number of channels, including education, healthcare providers, community workers and the police. Working with men and boys is a critical part of our efforts to end child marriage. 2013 This document highlights five evidence-based strategies identified by ICRW to delay or prevent child marriage: Empower girls with information, skills and support networks Provide economic support and incentives to girls and their families Save the Children works to empower girls and mothers to reduce the numbers of girls marrying before 18. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. India: HAQ Centre for Child Rights works to strengthen existing systems within the government and at the community level to prevent child marriage. How ActionAid is working to stop child marriage ActionAid works to end child marriage in 17 countries across South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa . Messages that promote new norms, role models and positive deviants show positive signs of being an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours around the value of girls and women. First, girls as young as 11 years-old have their childhood end abruptly and are often forced to … How Do Those in ‘Parent-Child’ Marriages Improve Their Relationship? The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act would strengthen and make more effective U.S. efforts to prevent child marriage, through provision of victim services and other strategies. In Algeria, the minimum age of marriage for females is 18, which is quite acceptable. to prevent child marriage. Child marriage in India is alarmingly high in absolute terms, with over 15 million child brides. Economic empowerment schemes such as microfinance or village savings and loan schemes can help girls to support themselves and their families without having to be married. Read the case study. In partnership with UNICEF USA, urge your state legislators to pass legislation to end child marriage. “The root of much abuse is child marriage. Can religious leaders be our best allies to end child marriage? Problem: Child marriages happen outside of the law. For change to happen, the values and norms which support the practice of child marriage need to shift. Working directly with girls to give them the opportunity to build skills and knowledge, understand and exercise their rights and develop support networks, is an important part of our efforts to end child marriage. Support Legislation Against Child Marriage One of the most powerful tools that anti-child marriage organizations and women’s rights advocates have been campaigning for is to make child marriage illegal by raising the legal age of marriage. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity," said Quentin Wodon, lead author of the report. Photo credit: Sarah Farhat / World Bank. Theresa is now trying to push the age of marriage up to 21 in Dedza, in order to inspire children to go to college. However for change to be truly transformative, governments must show strong political leadership by making the issue of national importance and providing adequate financial resourcing across ministries to tackle the issue holistically. UNICEF calls child marriage a harmful practice and a violation of child rights, and believes that marriage under age 18 should be prohibited in all circumstances. Why campaigns to stop child marriage can backfire A tribal chief in Malawi has become an idol for hundreds of girls for her courage to break up more than 800 child marriages to … "UNICEF believes that, because marriage under the age of 18 may threaten a child's human rights (including the right to education, leisure, good health, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination), the best way to ensure the protection of children's rights is to set a minimum age limit of 18 for marriage. Why campaigns to stop child marriage can backfire. According to UNICEF, at the current rate of progress in Africa — where child marriage is most common — it will still take us 100 years to put a stop to the obsolete practice. Child marriage as a concept can be defined as the formal or an informal union between two individuals before attaining the age of eighteen years. Gender discrimination and loopholes in the law continue to be rife especially when it comes to issues around parental consent, the right to own and inherit property, separation and divorce and access to professional services and support. Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1500 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. The most vulnerable girls who have no access to a quality education, healthcare or child protection mechanisms, are at a much greater risk of child marriage than girls who do. At the World Bank, this work is part of a larger work program on the economic impacts of child marriage and the role of laws, policies, and interventions to end the practice. India: Population Foundation of India runs a multi-media edutainment initiative called “Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon”. She loses her childhood and misses the chance to play and develop friendships. In 2016, another 5.6 million girls under the age of 18 become child brides. The vast majority of child marriages are between a girl and a man, and are rooted in gender inequality. Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon, a soap opera addressing gender inequality in India - including child marriage. 2 Child marriage is an extreme violation of children’s rights and a serious form of child abuse.1 It robs girls of their agency, their childhood, their wellbeing and their potential. Child marriages in parts of Europe and Central Asia may reflect a hardening of gender attitudes that reinforce stereotypical roles for girls and limit their opportunities. The poorest girls and women in India and the Dominican Republic marry on average four years earlier than the wealthiest, and in the least developed countries in the world, 40 percent of all girls are married before reaching adulthood. Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1500 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. Tel: 541-904-0789 Furthermore, many countries have a pluralistic legal system meaning customary law often contradicts and overrides national law making enforcement difficult. Most child marriages involve underage women, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions.. Child marriages are prevalent in India.Estimates vary widely between sources as to the extent and scale of child marriages. Local girls attend a youth group meeting about sexual reproductive health in their community, Batey Yaco, on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We use cookies to improve your experience on our website and to analyze our website traffic. According to UNICEF, at the current rate of progress in Africa — where child marriage is most common — it will still take us 100 years to put a stop to the obsolete practice. Malawi: Camfed runs the “Back to school campaign” to provide a quality and safe education to all. But that does not stop child marriage from being rampant across the country even in this day and age. Our latest analysis shows that 51 million girls will marry before 18 by 2030 given current trends. Despite all the challenges, we can stop child marriage and this is only possible if we are able to do many things together to tackle the problem at a social, cultural and legal levels. Photo credit: Kaela McConnon / Tostan. Many families and communities see child marriage as a deeply rooted practice which has been part of their culture for generations. Take action: Keep crisis-affected girls in school. The funding that is currently available is nowhere near large enough to match the scale of child marriage worldwide. Read the case study. How can she convince her parents who have plans to get her married instead? A safe space session taking place in Zambia. Ending child marriage requires us to review the services available to girls as well as asking how they reinforce one another and how they can be strengthened. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Without change at this level, the day-to-day reality for girls all over the world will remain the same. We must continue to make sure no one allows it … Child marriage is associated with poor health outcomes. India is the leading country in Child Marriage … Globally the rate of child marriage is dropping—today, around 8% of women (pdf, p. 5) are married before the age of 15, compared to 12% in the 1980s. Each year, approximately 15 … Generally, a child marriage ends a girl’s education and she will not have the skills to help lift her family out of poverty. Tanzania: Amref Health Africa runs the Unite for Body Rights to ensure young people have access to sexual and reproductive health services and information. What is child marriage? In fact, the longer a girl stays in school, the less likely she is to be married before age 18 and have children during her teenage years. Early age at all levels Hoon ” or approving of child marriage is still prevalent in many it... 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