Ending child marriage: Which laws and policies help or hinder our efforts?
For the Girls Not Brides March Learning Series focused on Laws and Policies, we partnered with the World Health Organization to discuss what we can learn from other sectors to help us implement national strategies to end child marriage, particularly at the level where it matters most – the local level. Strong national policies are crucial to end child marriage and create an environment where girls and women can thrive.
The webinar sought to answer questions around: What are some of the challenges and lessons learned from implementing multi-sectoral policies and programmes at the local level? What can we learn from other sectors and countries’ experiences that can help us implement national strategies to end child marriage?
To answer these questions we spoke to:
- Matilda Branson who works as the Policy and Advocacy Officer at the Girls Not Brides secretariat who gave an overview of national strategies to end child marriage globally. With 14 national strategies now launched and almost 20 more in development, we now need to learn how to best implement these policies at the sub-national level so as to ensure they reach girls, families and communities.
- Marina Plesons who works as a consultant on adolescent sexual and reproductive health for the World Health Organisation (WHO) about the importance of working across sectors (i.e. promoting multisectoral “convergence”) and lessons from the nutrition sector, which can help us to implement national strategies to end child marriage.
- Priyanka Sreenath, Deputy Director of MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Childin India, working on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCHA). She shared some lessons from a government-led project that promoted cross-departmental collaboration to prevent child marriage at the district level in Bihar and Rajasthan.
- Harriet Akullu, Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF Uganda shared some early lessons and progress made so far, two and a half years into the implementation of the Ugandan Government’s national strategy and action plan to end child marriage and teenage pregnancy at the district level.
- Claudia Lo Forte who works for Child Frontiers and as consultant for Girls Not Brides and WHO presented some of the early findings from her current research to identify lessons in implementation from other sectors – from GBV/VAWG, maternal health, nutrition, mental health and HIV/AIDS – that can be useful in informing the implementation at the sub-national level of national strategies to end child marriage.
Listen to our webinar recording to find out more!