Over the last two decades, awareness of the harmful consequences of child marriage has grown significantly across the globe. ICRW is playing a leading role in increasing this awareness by conducting cutting-edge research, leading evidence-based advocacy, and mobilizing governments, donors, and non-governmental organizations to address child marriage in their programs and policies.
Currently, an estimated 15 million girls marry each year. These numbers demonstrate that much more needs to be done to protect girls from child marriage, to ensure that the level of investments is commensurate with the need, and that the responses are based on rigorous and relevant research. Much of the research and evaluations on child marriage over the last several decades have focused on the South Asia context, and to some extent, East Africa (primarily Ethiopia). Yet, fifteen of the top 20 hotspot countries for child marriage are in Africa, signaling a clear need for more research and action on child marriage in this region.
With support from the Packard Foundation, ICRW explored the timing and circumstances of marriage and relationship formation in Kenya and Zambia. Our findings are being used to shape programmatic efforts in these countries, and to shape policy on preventing and responding to child marriage in these countries, regions, and beyond.