MEDIA ADVISORY: Archbishop Desmond Tutu to arrive in Zambia today for visit to spur efforts to end child marriage
Monday 15 September 2014
Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrives in Zambia today for a four-day visit to support and encourage efforts to end child marriage. He will be joined by Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.
During their visit, Archbishop Tutu and Mabel van Oranje will meet a range of groups who have a role to play in efforts to end child marriage in Zambia, including civil society organisations, government ministers, youth groups, faith leaders and traditional leaders. They are in Zambia to learn about the work underway to address child marriage in the country and to share what they have learned from those around the world who are also working to end this global problem.
Archbishop Tutu will visit Zambia as a co-founder of Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 400 civil society organisations from over 60 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Members of Girls Not Brides are united by a commitment to work in partnership to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfil their potential.
Arrival – Monday 15 September, 3pm, Kenneth Kaunda International Airport
- The delegation will make a few brief comments to media upon arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.
- Media are advised to arrive at the airport for 3pm on Monday 15 September.
- A full press briefing will take place at the conclusion of the visit on Thursday 18 September.
Press conference – Thursday 18 September, 9am, Radisson Blu Hotel
- Venue: Radisson Blu hotel, Plot 19029, Great East Road, Lusaka
- Speakers: Archbishop Tutu, Co-founder of Girls Not Brides, and Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides
- A press release and photos from the visit will also be made available.
For further information about these media opportunities, contact:
- Rina Mukumba, Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM)
About child marriage
Child marriage is a global problem. It cuts across countries and cultures, religions and ethnicities. Rates of child marriage are declining slowly, but absolute numbers could increase with population growth if efforts are not accelerated.
Child marriage in numbers
- Zambia has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world: 42% of girls married before they reach 18.
- Every year, an estimated 15 million girls around the world are married before they turn 18.
- The United Nations estimates that around 700 million women who are alive today were married as children – that is roughly 10% of the world’s population.
The impact of child marriage
- Child brides almost always drop out of school, denying them the chance to gain the skills and knowledge to lift them and their families out of poverty. Child marriage holds back girls, their families and the development of their country.
- Child brides often become pregnant soon after marriage, putting their health and that of their children at risk. Girls under 18 are five times more likely to die during pregnancy or labour than women in their early 20s, and their children are much less likely to survive the first years of life.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of the world’s best-known advocates for peace and human rights. He is Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, chaired South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is Nobel Peace Laureate (1984).
Archbishop Tutu is a founding member of The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to promote peace and human rights. The Elders founded Girls Not Brides and played a critical role in bringing child marriage to the forefront of the international agenda.
Although he has retired from public life, Archbishop Tutu remains active in efforts to end child marriage.
Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides
Mabel is the Chair of the Board for Girls Not Brides. From 2008 to 2012, Mabel was the first Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to promote peace and human rights. Mabel led the consultations that shaped The Elders’ strategic decision to raise awareness about the often forgotten issue of child marriage and to create Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.
With over twenty years of experience in building partnerships for justice and change, Mabel’s vision has seen Girls Not Brides grow into a global partnership of over 400 civil society organisations that are based in over 60 countries, united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfill their potential.