Child Marriage

Challenging stereotypes and changing minds through sports

In advance of the World Cup, the State Department held an event to discuss the importance of using sports to bring communities together and to empower women and girls. And they're onto something. ICRW is involved in programs around the world that are using sports, from cricket to soccer to table tennis, as a way to reduce violence against women and empower girls to pursue their dreams.

On June 12th, tens of millions of eyes will be on Brazil, as countries vie to take home the World Cup’s shiny gold trophy and with it, the respect of soccer fans around the world.

What is it like to be a child bride?

BBC World Service

A 14-year-old girl in Nigeria has confessed to killing the man she was forced to marry. Ann Warner, ICRW’s Senior Gender and Youth Specialist speaks to BBC’s World Have Your Say on how child marriage affects girls, and discusses programs that are working to eliminate this practice and help change the course for child brides.

 

A 14-year-old girl in Nigeria has confessed to killing the man she was forced to marry. Ann Warner, ICRW’s Senior Gender and Youth Specialist speaks to BBC’s World Have Your Say on how child marriage affects girls, and discusses programs that are working to eliminate this practice and help change the course for child brides.

Improving the Lives of Married, Adolescent Girls in Amhara, Ethiopia

Improving the Lives of Married, Adolescent Girls in Amhara, Ethiopia

Jeffrey Edmeades and Robin Hayes, with Gillian Gaynair
2014

Today, there are nearly 70 million child brides world­wide, with an estimated 142 million more destined for early marriage over the next decade. Child marriage violates girls’ basic human rights and brings their child­hoods to a swift end.
 
This harmful practice is most common in developing nations and is particularly pervasive across South Asia and Africa, where 50 to 70 percent of girls in some countries are wed before age 18. In societies where girls are valued less than boys, marrying girls as young as 10 years old is routinely deemed a smart economic transaction for poor parents, who, upon their daughter’s marriage, will have one less child to support and may receive “bride price” – money or property – from the groom’s family.
 
In Amhara, Ethiopia and elsewhere around the globe, many child brides have little or no have access to reproduc­tive health information or services, and thus endure a slew of health problems that further cripple their ability to grow into healthy, productive women. They are at greater risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. They face complications – and death – as a result of early pregnancy and childbearing. Further, children born to child brides are more likely to experience death, malnutrition, stunting and ongoing health problems than those born to mothers just a few years older.
 
These tragic consequences of child marriage not only impact individual girls’ lives; they also severely under­mine global progress on a variety of goals, including ending poverty, ensuring universal access to education and sexual and reproductive health, and strengthening economies. Child marriage also slows efforts to reduce human rights abuses, incidences of maternal mortality and morbidity, and vulnerability to HIV. 
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The TESFA Project: Empowering Ethiopian Child Brides

The groundbreaking program, “Towards Economic and Sexual Reproductive Health Outcomes for Adolescent Girls” or TESFA, sought to improve the lives of 5,000 child brides ages 10 to 19, in Ethiopia’s rural Amhara region. 

The groundbreaking program, “Towards Economic and Sexual Reproductive Health Outcomes for Adolescent Girls” or TESFA, sought to improve the lives of 5,000 child brides ages 10 to 19, in Ethiopia’s rural Amhara region. Implemented by CARE-Ethiopia over three years and evaluated by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), TESFA sought to mitigate the effects of child marriage.

Ann Warner: How education can deter child marriage

Devex

Ann Warner, ICRW's Senior Youth and Gender Specialist, talks to Devex about how households need to work with community members to develop alernatives to marriage for adolescent girls, including investing in education.

Ann Warner, ICRW's Senior Youth and Gender Specialist, talks to Devex about how households need to work with community members to develop alernatives to marriage for adolescent girls, including investing in education.

Ann Warner: How education can deter child marriage

Ann Warner, ICRW's Senior Youth and Gender Specialist, talks to Devex about how households need to work with community members to develop alernatives to marriage for adolescent girls, including investing in education.

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Girls 'Treated as Cattle': Child Brides Divide Pakistan

NBC News

A proposed law in Pakistan would increase the punishment for community members involved in child marriage. ICRW's Ann Warner, Senior Gender and Youth Specialist, describes how child marriage puts girls at risk in Pakistan and around the world.

A proposed law in Pakistan would increase the punishment for community members involved in child marriage. ICRW's Ann Warner, Senior Gender and Youth Specialist, describes how child marriage puts girls at risk in Pakistan and around the world.

Changing Course in Ethiopia

An innovative program in Amhara, Ethiopia is employing new strategies, such as lessons on sexual and reproductive health, to help keep girls in school and away from the marriage altar. ICRW is set to begin a two year evaluation of the effort in the region, known for high child marriage rates. 

On a recent visit to the Amhara region of Ethiopia, I met Bruktawit, a 27-year-old primary school teacher who exemplifies what it takes to keep young girls in school: intense commitment, personal sacrifice and a deeply rooted belief that young girls deserve an education.

It's time to unleash girls' potential

Devex

Girls have the power to transform the world, but they face many barriers along the way, including violence and early marriage. In this blog for Devex, ICRW's President, Sarah Degnan Kambou, writes about several initiatives that are working to break down barriers and lift up girls for generations to come. 

Girls have the power to transform the world, but they face many barriers along the way, including violence and early marriage. In this blog for Devex, ICRW's President, Sarah Degnan Kambou, writes about several initiatives that are working to break down barriers and lift up girls for generations to come. 

No Longer an Afterthought: Girls' Rights in the Next Development Framework

Lyric Thompson, Senior Policy Manager at ICRW, blogs about opening week at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, gaps within the MDGs and poses recommendations for the next development framework to include concrete targets to improve the status and rights of girls worldwide.

It’s opening week at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, always a frenetic time when thousands of women’s rights activists and member state delegations descend upon New York to review the current state of affairs for women and girls globally and recommend actions states can take to advance gender equality and promote female empowerment.

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