ICRW Hosts Panelist Discussion on Girls’ Empowerment and Child Marriage

Article Date

12 September 2014

Article Author

Jenna Bushnell

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]

On Friday, ICRW hosted an event to highlight the findings from a brand new report, “More Power To Her: How Empowering Girls Can Help End Child Marriage,” which looks at programs from CARE, BRAC, Save the Children and Pathfinder International that used girls’ empowerment as a way to improve the lives of adolescents girls who were susceptible to, or already in a marriage.

Following welcome remarks from ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou and a presentation of ICRW’s findings by Senior Gender and Youth Specialist Ann Warner, program experts from the implementing organizations offered insights into best practices to end child marriage and articulated what still needs to be done during a lively panel discussion. 

The panelists were Doris Bartel, Senior Director of Gender and Empowerment at CARE Stacey Clark, Program Manager and CFO at BRAC USA Patrick Crump, Associate Vice President of Program Quality and Impact at Save the Children and Mathew Joseph Country Representative – India at Pathfinder International. They explained how their respective programs were able to encourage girls to reach their potential and reiterated to the importance of providing girls with social support, information, and skills training necessary to ensure they have the ability to advocate for themselves. 

The discussion also touched on the limitations of focusing solely on girls’ empowerment when creating initiatives meant to eradicate child marriage. In order for programs to be successful, community members, local and national governments, and individual families need to be a part of the conversation about ending child marriage, our panelists noted. Still, these programs represent an important starting point for creating frameworks that make the wellbeing of adolescent girls a development priority. Looking forward to the Post-2015 development agenda, the potential of these girls – if given the opportunity to succeed – demonstrates that addressing their needs could have profoundly positive effects on global progress.

Lively debate about how we can best empower girls and end child marriage continued online as audience members and twitter participants used the hashtag #MorePower2Her to share their thoughts on practices to end child marriage. Check out this stream below to see what people were talking about during the event: