On 22 July in London, the UK government and UNICEF are hosting the first Girl Summit to mobilise political and financial commitments to end child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in a generation. Below is the commitment Girls Not Brides made at the Girl Summit.
We will expand and empower the global movement; help identify what works to end child marriage and how to measure progress; and advocate for decision-makers at the international, regional, national, and community levels to take substantive action to end child marriage and empower girls.
Expand and empower the movement
The Girls Not Brides partnership’s 358 civil society members hail from 63 countries around the globe to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfil their potential. We recognize that ending child marriage will require further expanding the breadth, diversity, coordination and capacity of the Girls Not Brides partnership and the wider movement to end child marriage.
We commit to bringing on 100 new members a year, to educating and engaging new champions, and to building the influence and coordination of member organisations and our partners through a new series of capacity-building webinars and meetings.
Deadline: End of 2015.
Help identify what works and how we measure it
As a global partnership, Girls Not Brides works to ensure that new and existing evidence – particularly on the solutions to child marriage and on insights emerging from non-traditional sources – is shared widely. Building on our work to develop a ‘Theory of Change on Child Marriage’, Girls Not Brides commits to launching a process to bring together experts and practitioners to identify indicators to measure progress and impact on child marriage.
Deadline: July 2015
Hold governments accountable
Girls Not Brides will continue to advocate for major inter-governmental processes and fora, as well as governments in high-prevalence countries, to commit to taking action on child marriage. In particular, Girls Not Brides will advocate for a target on child, early and forced marriage to be included in the post-2015 development framework, and for child marriage to be addressed in global and regional intergovernmental bodies.
Deadline: End of 2015.
Expand the funding base
Lasting change has to happen on the ground and realising this on a meaningful scale requires adequate resourcing to support programmatic work. Girls Not Brides will therefore continue to advocate for an increase in long-term funding to address child marriage, from both existing and new donors, including funding from governments of high-prevalence countries.
Raise the profile of promising national efforts
Girls Not Brides will bring attention to actions from around the world that have the potential to advance national efforts to end child marriage. In particular, Girls Not Brides will continue to advocate for the coordination of efforts to end child marriage in high-prevalence countries, the development and implementation of nation-wide plans and the meaningful inclusion of civil society in nation-wide responses.
In the time it has taken to read this article 29 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 3 seconds