The UN defines child marriage as where one, or both parties, are under 18. "Ending this practice is not only the morally right thing to do but also the economically smart thing to do." By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies. Using an empowerment approach can lead to positive outcomes for girls and their families by supporting girls to become agents of change, helping them envisage what alternative roles could look like in their communities and ultimately helping them to forge their own pathway in life. Learn how we are working to stop child marriage by engaging everyone to stand up and saying no to early marriage. Child marriage, or marriage before 18, was legal in all 50 U.S. states. 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. Child marriage is a marriage or similar union, formal or informal, between a child and an adult or another child under a certain age, typically age eighteen. Girls need the support to make the transition into secondary school. We use cookies to improve your experience on our website and to analyze our website traffic. Intervention Phase 1 (2013-2017) While most countries legislate for a minimum legal age of marriage, the age of marriage is often higher for men than it is for women and many countries continue to have a legal age of marriage lower than in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read the case study. 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. Keeping girls in school is an effective way to prevent girls marrying but it is not enough. Education builds knowledge, opens new opportunities and can help to shift norms around the value of girls in the community. Child marriage in India is alarmingly high in absolute terms, with over 15 million child brides. 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 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. Our latest analysis shows that 51 million girls will marry before 18 by 2030 given current trends. A woman should take a leading role in society,” says Charity. 4. We see child marriage as an act of violence, so we enable girls to assert their rights, help families and communities to support them, and influence policy to sustain change. However, when we look into the Bible, we find passages that do approve of it. At the grassroots, organisations are driving change by campaigning, holding community conversations and using a variety of creative techniques such as street theatre and art to reflect on the practice of child marriage and communicate its harmful impacts for girls and their communities. Photo credit: Population Foundation of India / MKBKSH. Participants at a training by Tostan act out a wedding ceremony in Soudiane, Senegal. Many girls in the developing world have an unmet need for sexual reproductive health care which can put them at risk of early pregnancy and contracting HIV and other STIs. The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, estimates more than 650 million women alive today were married before the age of 18. Many studies have shown that it is more than likely that a girl who marries as a child will come from a community where education for girls is not valued. Read the case study. But that does not stop child marriage from being rampant across the country even in this day and age. From UNFPA, Child Marriage Factsheet, and Ending Child Marriage: A Guide for Global Policy Action. PO Box 2345 Sisters, OR 97759-2345 Child marriage refers to any formal marriage or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child. Ending child marriage and supporting married girls require work across four areas: To view our Theory of Change, visit www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage-theory-of-change. Tipping Point is a multi-country initiative addressing child marriage by focusing on its root causes. A strong legal and policy system can provide an important backdrop for improvements in services, changes in social norms and girls’ empowerment. Child marriage: what do social norms have to do with it? COVID-19: latest news and resources on child marriage and COVID-19, Ending child marriage in challenging times – a message from our CEO, 10 ways the world got closer to ending child marriage in the last 10 years, COVID-19 and child, early and forced marriage: An agenda for action, Child Marriage: a Form of Violence Against Children, Surfer not bride: how Naomi waved goodbye to early marriage, More than a white dress: In the midst of the Syrian crisis, girls rise to end child marriage. In many communities it is the men who hold the power and make the decisions. Child marriage is often linked to patriarchal attitudes towards girls, including the need to safeguard family ‘honour’. Christians believe that the Bible has nothing to say with regards to the condoning or approving of child marriage. Child marriage is therefore both a cause and a consequence of poor educational attainment for girls. 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. "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. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls between 15 and 19. In recent months we have been seeing an increasing number of such headlines appearing in the media. Malawi: Camfed runs the “Back to school campaign” to provide a quality and safe education to all. 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. They can provide a good alternative for girls who do not have access to formal education such as married girls. Addressing child marriage and supporting the needs of married girls requires us to consider the economic and structural drivers which act as a barrier to ending child marriage. More resources on child marriage. Why campaigns to stop child marriage can backfire. Whether the practice is cited as cultural or religious, it is often driven by inequitable gender norms such as an emphasis on protecting a girls’ (or her family’s) honour by controlling her sexuality. 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. Some of these programmes have economic empowerment components, such as conditional cash transfers, or the provision of a goat or chicken, which have proven successful in increasing the age of marriage. The funding that is currently available is nowhere near large enough to match the scale of child marriage worldwide. Read the case study. to prevent child marriage. Supporting young people to be agents of change can be an effective and empowering process in and of itself. Read the case study. Girls from wealthy families in Bangladesh have been forced into marriages as children, Syrian refugee girls displaced by conflict have been married off before they were ready, American girls from Christian families have been victims of child marriage, and girls living in poverty in Myanmarhave been married off to older men in Ch… Making sure health services are youth-friendly and that girls are able to access care without judgement and without male supervision is also important. As of July 1, 2019, in 13 states there was no statutory minimum age when all exemptions were taken into account. Babies born to … Safe space programmes which offer a varied curriculum covering life skills, health and financial literacy can provide girls with an opportunity to build their skills, learn and meet friends and mentors in an informal setting and learn about the services they can access in their community. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls between 15 and 19. Married girls are more likely to drop out and stay out of school. Generally, a child marriage ends a girl’s education and she will not have the skills to help lift her family out of poverty. Changing norms at scale is integral to the process of change and a growing number of organisations are using mass media campaigns and other innovative methods such as radio, TV and digital media to raise awareness of girls’ rights and the impact of child marriage. Safe space programmes can successfully build girls’ self-confidence, agency and self-efficacy, which they need to thrive. Child marriage has a deep and devastating three-pronged impact. 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. It is a big finding considering the country has the world's second highest child marriage rate and has the highest marriage rate for girls younger than the age of 15. Furthermore, ensuring girls have the opportunity to become financially literate and have the ability to open and easily access a bank account (without male supervision) can help them save in a secure way and become financially independent. The Girls Not Brides Theory of Change shows the range of approaches needed to address child marriage, and the role everyone has to play to end the practice. ICRW’s latest work is part of a long commitment to studying the causes and consequences of child marriage. Despite the many challenges, child marriage is decreasing around the world. This brief draws on forthcoming data from the Women, … Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. 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. Having a safe regular meeting place allows girls to meet with peers and share experiences which can reduce their sense of isolation and vulnerability. Both unmarried and married girls need high quality, youth-friendly health services to live healthy and safe lives. “Village girls stop child marriages”… “Priests join the fight against child marriage”. The vast majority of child marriages are between a girl and a man, and are rooted in gender inequality. Interventions targeting fathers, brothers, husbands and future husbands are important in helping men and boys reflect on the status quo and see the benefits of a community which values and supports girls and women to fulfil their potential. Photo credit Gabriel Diamond / Skoll Foundation. She loses her childhood and misses the chance to play and develop friendships. She is also more likely to experience domestic violence. India: Population Foundation of India runs a multi-media edutainment initiative called “Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon”. India is the leading country in Child Marriage … What is child marriage? A review of evidence on interventions commonly accepted as best practices, Family planning for married girls: lessons learned from ICFP 2016, New research identifies what works best to delay marriage in Ethiopia and Tanzania, Family guidance centres and women’s shelters, Reflecting on national strategies to end child marriage: lessons from 11 countries, Lessons learned from national initiatives to end child marriage – 2016, Lessons learned from selected national initiatives to end child marriage – 2015, Strengthening existing systems for prevention of child marriage, Reforming the legislation on the age of marriage: successful experiences and lessons learned from Latin America and the Caribbean, Establish and implement laws and policies. 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. A child marriage, also referred to as an underage marriage in the United States, is a marriage in which at least one party is under 18 years of age.. Each state, territory and federal district sets the marriage age in its jurisdiction. Central to the project is a soap opera which addresses child marriage as part of a broader promotion of gender equality. 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. Solutions: Work with religious and traditional leaders to raise awareness of the law, the harmful impact of child marriage and alternatives for girls. 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. Working with service providers to build their capacity can help to ensure that cases of child marriage in the community are responded to effectively. In recent months we have been seeing an increasing number of such headlines appearing in the media. 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 … Photo credit: Kaela McConnon / Tostan. 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. A tribal chief in Malawi has become an idol for hundreds of girls for her courage to break up more than 800 child marriages … It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. The National Strategic Plan to End Child Marriage in Nigeria 2016-2021 aims to highlight the multi-sectoral, multifaceted activities needed to end child marriage in Nigeria. Babies born to young mothers are at higher risk. Anjali dreams of one day going to school to become a doctor. Child marriage is a violation of children’s human rights and an extreme manifestation of gender inequality. Students at a primary school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Email: info@worldschildren.org. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity," said Quentin Wodon, lead author of the report. This can limit their chances at getting a skilled job, lower their lifetime income and create a worse life for their children in the future. From ICRW, How to End Child Marriage: Action Strategies for Prevention and Protection and New Insights on Preventing Child Marriage Anonymous User Connect with top Child Custody lawyers for your specific issue Ann Warner, Senior Gender and Youth Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), blogs about girl-centred programmes can help to prevent child marriage. World's Children is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN 20-5276353. What is child marriage? The UN defines child marriage as … In California and Louisiana, opponents of change have argued that raising the minimum marriage age is an ineffective solution since other child welfare laws … In India, child marriage is illegal, but still occurs, and has declined only modestly over the past 15 years. 1. In Phase 1 and Phase 2, Tipping Point worked with partners who bring years of experience in Tipping Point communities to our collaborative effort. Educated women also become good role models for other girls. Each year, approximately 15 … "Child marriage not only puts a stop to girls' hopes and dreams. India must implement further measures regarding how to stop child marriage, as India is home to one of the largest populations of child brides in the world. That's one in every four girls. Theresa is now trying to push the age of marriage up to 21 in Dedza, in order to inspire children to go to college. All donations are tax deductible. She is also more likely to experience domestic violence. 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. 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 … This free eBook will also be of interest to all who care about protecting vulnerable children from child marriage. Read the case study. Read the case study. Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon, a soap opera addressing gender inequality in India - including child marriage. There is a strong link between poverty and child marriage. Strengthening, implementing and resourcing laws and policies which prevent child marriage is an important step towards recognising and upholding girls’ rights. Delaware and New Jersey in 2018 became the first two states to end this human-rights abuse, followed by American Samoa in 2018 and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Pennsylvania and Minnesota in 2020. “By ending child marriage we want to create equality between the sexes. In Algeria, the minimum age of marriage for females is 18, which is quite acceptable. Ending child marriage requires work across all sectors and at all levels. Child marriage is associated with poor health outcomes. 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. Generally, a child marriage ends a girl’s education and she will not have the skills to help lift her family out of poverty. The very act of girls attending school can reinforce to the community that girls of school-going age are still children. In addition, education ensures girls acquire the skills and knowledge to find employment and a means to support their families. 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. Furthermore, many countries have a pluralistic legal system meaning customary law often contradicts and overrides national law making enforcement difficult. In communities where religious and traditional leaders play a prominent role in decision-making or influencing the prevailing norms, targeted interventions can support them to become positive advocates for change who fully understand the implications of child marriage for girls and their families. Without change at this level, the day-to-day reality for girls all over the world will remain the same. This results in smaller, healthier families. From WorldVision, Before She's Ready: Fifteen Paces Girls Marry by 15. The funding that is currently available is nowhere near large enough to match the scale of child marriage worldwide. When girls are educated, they delay marriage and childbearing. Child, early and forced marriage has significant negative impacts on the futures of children, particularly girls. Working with men and boys is a critical part of our efforts to end child marriage. 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. We made a banner and marched through the village, telling people why child marriage needs to stop.” Suci’s drive to end child marriage began when her brother married a … Child marriage is a violation of the rights of girls and women. ICRW’s latest work is part of a long commitment to studying the causes and consequences of child marriage. “Village girls stop child marriages”… “Priests join the fight against child marriage”. 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 … These cookies do not store any personal information. Child marriage in India, according to the Indian law, is a marriage where either the woman is below the age of 18 or the man is below the age of 21. 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. Photo credit: IPPF. One of the most prominent examples is of Numbers … Organisation Working to Stop Child Marriage #14: The Knowledge Hub on Child Marriage – India The Knowledge Hub (KHub) is a web-portal exclusively focused on the issue of child marriage, designed to cater to growing need for evidence-based approaches on prevention of child marriages in India and neighboring countries. In partnership with UNICEF USA, urge your state legislators to pass legislation to end child marriage. In recent years child marriage has gained increasing prominence on international and national development agendas. Child marriage is a violation of the human rights and an impediment to sustainable development. Child Marriage is one of the most prevalent dangers of our society. 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. 2016 All Rights Reserved. Many countries lack robust legal and policy frameworks which can help to prevent the practice and support married girls. A report by UNICEF showed that the percentage of women married before the age of 18 dropped from 33% to 26% between 1985 and 2010. Findings from Haryana, India, What does not work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Read her courageous story to find out. 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. Make sure they ask for proof of age before a wedding and report child marriage cases to … Many families and communities see child marriage as a deeply rooted practice which has been part of their culture for generations. A study on a project in Bangladesh shows that education can help reduce child marriages by nearly one-third. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity," said Quentin Wodon, lead author of the report. The programme was funded by DFID. The legal age for marriage in India is 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. Educated women also have more opportunities to generate income that is likely to be invested in their families and communities. Tanzania: Amref Health Africa runs the Unite for Body Rights to ensure young people have access to sexual and reproductive health services and information. Support Legislation Against Child Marriage. Child rights works to strengthen existing systems within the government and at all levels countries have a pluralistic system. 'S Ready: Fifteen Paces girls marry by 15 new opportunities and can help to prevent child marriage our... Marriages improve their Relationship in absolute terms, with over 15 million child brides look into the Bible, ’! Level, the day-to-day reality for girls and women escaping violence, including the need have... 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