Child marriage is rooted in gender inequality and in the low value accorded to girls, and is exacerbated by poverty, insecurity and conflict. It denies girls their rights and undermines numerous development priorities. Ending child marriage will require long-term, sustainable action across many different sectors. A robust legal and policy framework with commitment and financing for implementation to prevent child marriage and to support married girls should be the cornerstone of government efforts to address the practice.
KUALA LUMPUR – Progress to end child marriage must be accelerated, urged civil society organisations from around the world gathered in Malaysia this week for the world’s biggest ever global meeting on ending child marriage, hosted by Girls Not Brides, The three-day meeting was attended by almost 500 activists from more than 70 countries, including civil society and youth, along with representatives from governments, donors, religious networks, the UN and the African Union.
LONDON – As the world marks International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, Girls Not Brides is calling upon the international community to prioritise investments to end child marriage, stressing that ending the practice is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Lakshmi Sundaram, Executive Director of Girls Not Brides, said eight of the 17 SDGs could not be achieved without significant progress to end child marriage, including those related to poverty, health, education, nutrition, food security, inequality and economic growth.
When a young girl becomes a bride, the consequences are lifelong – for the girl, for her children and for her nation. Every year some 15 million girls around the world are married as children. Over 720 million women alive today were married or entered into union before their 18th birthday. Child marriage cuts across countries, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. If there is no reduction in the near future, 1.2 billion girls will have been married as children by 2050.