AMSTERDAM, 7 NOVEMBER 2016
Girls Not Brides is pleased to announce the launch of Girls Not Brides the Netherlands, the 8th official National Partnership of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage. Girls Not Brides is a partnership of more than 600 civil society organisations based in over 80 countries, united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable every girl to fulfil her potential.
Organisations in the Netherlands working to end child marriage came together to mark the occasion during a launch event at the Dutch Parliament this morning. The new Dutch National Partnership will work to share knowledge and work on joint initiatives to prevent child marriages both nationally and internationally. Girls Not Brides the Netherlands was founded by thirteen Dutch organisations, which in turn work with dozens of partner organisations across Africa and Asia. The organisations work together in three civil society alliances*.
The Netherlands is currently a global leader in tackling child marriage. The Dutch government has made significant financial commitments, as have donors based in the country such as the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the Ikea Foundation. Civil society organisations based in the Netherlands have also been at the forefront of efforts to end child marriage. These commitments need to be sustained and increased over the coming years, and the new Dutch National Partnership will play a critical role in achieving this. While we are making progress, global efforts need to be accelerated if we want to avoid the number of women married as children reaching 1.2 billion by 2050.
Worldwide, one girl is married off under the age 18 every two seconds. Child marriage is an issue which cuts across countries, cultures, and religions, and is driven by gender inequality, poverty, traditions, and insecurity. The consequences for girls are devastating. Child brides are often forced to drop out of school, and are more likely to experience domestic abuse. They are also more likely to face pressure to have children early, resulting in complications during birth. Complications related to pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death in girls aged between 15 and 19.
*The three other Dutch alliances include:
- Her Choice; Kinderpostzegels, The Hunger Project, International Child Development Initiatives, Universiteit van Amsterdam
- Yes I Do; Plan Nederland, Rutgers, Amref Flying Doctors, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen
- More Than Brides; Save the Children Nederland, Simavi, Oxfam Novib, the Population Council
In the time it has taken to read this article 24 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