ICRW Strategies to End Child Marriage shared at UN General Assembly

Article Date

23 September 2013

Article Author

Gillian Gaynair

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]
A blueprint summarizing five strategies identified by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) used to effectively address child marriage will be released this week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The brief stresses that ending child marriage must be a priority in the next generation of development goals. Indeed, tens of millions of girls worldwide are at risk of being forced to wed. Failing to effectively address this deeply entrenched practice, the brief states, can severely undermine progress on improving maternal and child health, reducing vulnerability to HIV, promoting food security and improving access to education, among other development goals. 
Based on findings from ICRW’s groundbreaking report, “Solutions to End Child Marriage: What the Evidence Shows,” the brief was produced in partnership with the London-based Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage. Representatives from Girls Not Brides will discuss the findings during a Sept. 25 event at the UN focused on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda. 
From a global systematic review, ICRW researchers found 23 programs with a child marriage component that had documented a change in knowledge, attitudes and/or behavior related to the practice. Then, from these evaluations, ICRW identified five programmatic strategies used to delay or prevent child marriage: 
  • Empower girls with information, skills and support networks
  • Educate and rally parents and community members
  • Enhance girls’ access to a high-quality education
  • Provide economic support and incentives for girls and their families
  • Encourage supportive laws and policies
The brief provides details on the rationale behind these strategies and highlights how programs have successfully applied the various approaches. It recommends more investment in documenting and evaluating what works to end child marriage – as well as building upon what is already known. The brief also emphasizes that programs in 2015 and beyond must not overlook girls who are already married, who are among the most marginalized members of society.