Learning from progress to end child marriage and understanding the latest data and trends on prevalence and the number of girls affected, is a fundamental part of accelerating an end to the issue around the world.
In the second session of Girls Not Brides’ online Learning Series, we shared information on:
- Global, regional and national child marriage prevalence trends
- Current child marriage prevalence by region, sub-regional differences and key gaps
- The acceleration needed to end child marriage and the neglected areas where child marriage prevention efforts need to be prioritised
Current state of child marriage around the world:
- Urgent action is needed if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target: we need increased investment to scale up policy and programming. If we are to reach the SDG target, child marriage needs to decline 15 times faster than it has over the past decade
- Globally, both prevalence and absolute numbers are going down, but not fast enough to meet the SDG target.
- Over the past twenty years, progress on child marriage has been unequal between and within countries and regions. Child marriage has declined most among girls from the richest backgrounds, while it has remained stagnant or increased among girls from the poorest backgrounds
- South Asia has seen the greatest declines, but also has the largest number of child brides; child marriage rates are stagnant in Latin America and the Caribbean and in West and Central Africa
- In order to accelerate declines it will be necessary to prioritise girls from the poorest and most marginalised backgrounds, as well as the regions where rates are stagnant, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean and the Sahel, in West and Central Africa.
- The Covid- 19 pandemic is making the SDG target more unattainable: 10 million additional marriages expected by 2030 (total projected = 110 million)
What is needed to accelerate change in the decline of child marriage?
The associations between child marriage reduction and broader socio economic and legal changes suggest the following are key to ending child marriage:
- Ensuring that economic growth is equitable, by ensuring that governments invest increased revenue in childhood development and social protection
- Increasing girls’ completion of secondary education
- Increasing access to quality, secure employment opportunities for women
- Ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health care
- Setting 18 as the legal minimum age of marriage, closing loopholes and addressing contradictory laws
You can watch the session back and view presentations, notes and resources, downloadable below.
- Learning series session 2 presentation (English) (PDF, 3.7MB)
- Learning series session 2 takeaways and recommendations (PDF, 257.2kB)
- Sesiones de aprendizaje 2 Tendencias y evidencia_Principales aportaciones (español) (PDF, 240.3kB)
- Seminaires d'apprentissage Tendances et donnees Points a retenir (français) (PDF, 254.8kB)