We are excited to publish the Partnership Strategy 2022-2025. It provides a roadmap for the collective work of member organisations of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage over the next four years. Developed in collaboration with members from across the world, this Strategy shows the priorities of our Partnership. It identifies a set of six shared goals to focus our work and maximise our impact as to improve girls’ rights and lives.
Whether you work directly with girls and their parents on ending child marriage in a small community, or work to convince policy makers and governments to change their laws and invest in girls in global spaces like the United Nations, all Girls Not Brides members’ contributions are vital to achieving the goals we’ve set out in this Strategy.
A crucial time to accelerate progress
Our Partnership has made great strides in the past decade towards our shared goal of a world without child marriage. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed that world, and this means we need to adapt how we will get there. The repercussions of the pandemic have rolled back girls’ rights and many of the hard-won successes towards a gender-equal world. Now, even more than ever, we need to accelerate collective action to end child marriage.
What have we learned from Girls Not Brides members?
We know that, as a movement, we are so much stronger when we work together. That’s why this Strategy was developed with close participation from our member organisations, with over 300 individual contributors sharing their inputs. We worked closely with a Member Advisory Committee who helped to draft the strategy and make decisions about what we included.
As members it has been really important that we were involved from the start. We had important discussions as a group on the language that is used in the Strategy and how our own individual contexts and priorities are represented in this global roadmap for action.Anbreen Ajaib, Bedari, Pakistan
Here are some of the things we learned through the process and that have shaped the focus and priorities of this Strategy:
- To be effective, our Global Partnership needs to be diverse and include space for leadership from groups that have been excluded, including youth-led, women-led, and Indigenous organisations, and those working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
- Civil society action has always been the backbone of our work. We have learned that to deliver lasting change, we need to increase focus on community-led change. Communities are at the centre of the work to end child marriage.
- Child marriage exists in stable conditions, but humanitarian crises increase the inequalities that drive it. We need to ensure those working in humanitarian contexts are addressing child marriage in their work.
- We need to develop strategies that go beyond preventing child marriage to push for more transformative social change. Change that empowers girls and women – in all their diversity – and achieves gender equality.
- Our Partnership has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in addressing child marriage over the past decade. We are in the unique position to share learning, knowledge and evidence with each other. We need to increase our efforts to learn from each other.
- Many governments have made great commitments to address child marriage in the past few years. But we know that real action from governments to protect the rights of girls is falling behind. As civil society organisations, we need to work together to hold governments accountable.
- To address child marriage, it is crucial to advance adolescent girls’ rights and agency.
- We need to increase our efforts to reach girls who are most at risk of child marriage, and include girls who are or have been married in our work.
Our collective agenda for action
The Partnership Strategy 2022-2025 identifies six shared goals to focus our work and maximise our impact.
Together, we will ensure that:
A. Communities are drivers of change, with girls and women at the centre.
B. Governments lead effective action and foster civil society participation.
C. The global community champions and supports initiatives to end child marriage.
D. More sustainable, long-term funding is available, especially for communities.
E. Work to address child marriage is based on evidence.
F. Collective engagement through a diverse global Partnership is at the forefront of work to end child marriage.
This Partnership Strategy is important to us as members, as it provides us with a common agenda and enables us to work together with other members towards a shared vision.Godfrey Ochieng Okumu, Tostan, Senegal
Download the Strategy to find out more how you can contribute to collective action to end child marriage.
In the time it has taken to read this article 47 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 2 seconds