Collaborating internationally to end child marriage
Jennifer Redner blogs for the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) about the Girls Not Brides meeting in Addis Ababa, underlining that we need to “reach the largest ever generation of adolescent girls to prevent them from losing out on their education, childhood, and potential to transform their communities, nations, and our world”.
According to the Population Council, if we do not act now, 100 million girls will be married as children in the next ten years, resulting in a host of negative health, social, and economic development outcomes such as maternal mortality, HIV, and lost educational and economic opportunities – which all further fuel the cycle of poverty and undermine current investments in these areas. When a girl is married as a child, often against her will, she endures human rights violations such as forced sex, domestic violence, and the inability to determine the timing and spacing of births. Eradicating child marriage requires country specific and multi-sectoral solutions that involve working with girls, families, communities, and key decision-makers.