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Girls Not Brides at the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principle global policy-making body dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women. It takes place annually at UN headquarters in New York. This year marks the 57th CSW, which will run from 4 – 15 March.

The priority theme for this year’s CSW is the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. Child marriage is a case in point and is a practice that often has violent consequences for girls. Child brides, for example, are more likely to report being beaten by their husbands and forced to have sex than girls who marry later.

That is why the Girls Not Brides secretariat and a number of our members will be at this year’s CSW to make the case that ending child marriage should be a priority in the global effort to end violence against women and girls.

Girls Not Brides will be represented at the following events:

Untying the Knot: Preventing Violence against Women and Girls by ending Early Marriage

10.30 – 12.00, 6 March 2013, Church Center for the UN,Chapel, First Floor, 777 UN Plaza, New York

This panel discussion, cosponsored by Girls Not Brides and member organisation World Vision, will bring together local and global voices to share their experiences of child marriage in fragile contexts. There will be a debate about how we can, together, eradicate early marriage within a generation and support girls and women affected by it so that they can live free from violence.

Too Young to Wed: Working Together to Address Child Marriage

14.30 – 16.30, 7 March 2013, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, UNHQ

Child marriage is a cross-cutting development issue that impacts 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. As such, ending child marriage requires action at all levels and collaboration from all sectors of society, including governments, parliamentarians, civil society, community leaders, international organisations, donors and beyond.

This panel discussion will look at how sectors can work together to end child marriage. It will feature HE Dr. Catherine Gotani Haro, Minister of Health, Malawi, will be moderated by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA and will be hosted by Family Care International, Girls Not Brides, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Government of Canada, the Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health; UN Foundation, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, World Health Organisation, World Vision, YWCA, and in support of Every Women Every Child.

Other child marriage related events at CSW

The Future Young Women Want: Putting women’s rights at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda

12.30 – 14.00, Tuesday 5 March 2013, Guild Hall, Armenian Convention Centre, 30 2nd Avenue Organised by Girls Not Brides member organisation YWCA in collaboration with ARROW and UNFPA

Harmful Traditional Practices – Violence against Women and Girls; Laws vs Practice: Rhetoric vs Reality

13.15 – 14.45, 8 March 2013, German House, 2nd Floor, 871 UN Plaza, New York

This panel on harmful traditional practices will include a discussion on child marriage by Girls Not Brides Global Coordinator Lakshmi Sundaram.

For more information on these events and Girls Not Brides’ participation at CSW, contact

Read our blog: Ending child marriage must be a priority in the global effort to end violence against women and girls