Change at scale requires a movement
As Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage entered its 11th year of operations in 2022, the countdown towards the Sustainable Development Goals began in earnest. With only eight years left on the clock, no country is on track to achieve these Goals, including Target 5.3 “To eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations."
Over the past decade, child marriage prevalence has declined by 15%, but progress has been uneven and is not happening fast enough. With governments, communities, and individuals the world over facing the interconnected challenges of climate crisis, conflict, COVID-19 and rising costs, our work to address child marriage is more urgent than ever.
It is in this context that we began implementing our ambitious new Secretariat Strategy 2022-25. Our approach seeks to deliver the long-term system change needed to address the root causes of child marriage and gender inequality, to ensure girls and women – in all their diversity – can exercise their rights and fulfil their potential.
Change at this scale requires a movement of diverse stakeholders with a shared vision and acting together across sectors and at every level to transform gender norms.
Role of the Girls Not Brides secretariat
Our role as a secretariat is threefold:
- We are a central support and coordination body for the largest global civil society partnership working to end child marriage.
- We represent and advocate for civil society on work to end child marriage, bringing girls and adolescents into decision-making space, and mobilising and influencing governments, donors and stakeholders at different levels to take gender-transformative action.
- We are an expert and trusted source for evidence and shared learning on child marriage, committed to the belief that our collective work will only be effective and sustainable if it is based on accurate evidence and the lived experience of girls and adolescents.
By acting, advocating and learning together, we have had real impact
We are the largest partnership working together to end child marriage around the globe. In 2022, we consolidated our collective engagement, experience and diversity, which positions the movement more strongly to deliver change.
- Girls Not Brides Uganda and the Coalition of Civil Society to End Child Marriage in Nigeria have brought youth and women’s voices into developing national strategies to end child marriage.
- With the Uttar Pradesh coalition, India, 2,100 adolescent girls trained and showed greater leadership, negotiation and implementation skills, acting together to transform gendered norms with 13,224 community members and decision-makers in 28 districts.
- First-ever National Partnership in Latin America and the Caribbean launched in Guatemala with La Mesa a Favor de las Niñas y Adolescentes (La Mesa), bringing the issue into the human rights work of 21 organisations and four activists in a region where progress has remained stagnant.
We responsibly amplified girls’ and member organisations’ voices, and collectively pushed for decision-makers to take action.
- 125 governments co-sponsored a new UN Resolution on Child, Early and Forced Marriage and can now be held to account for their commitment. Our technical input contributed to a greater focus on multiple and intersecting risk factors, and progressive language on girls’ sexual and reproductive rights, education and autonomy.
- 95 organisations and 2,500 young people collectively advocated to the Government of India, stopping changes to the minimum age of marriage.
- Member organisations and adolescent girls in Latin America and the Caribbean informed a brief on care and child marriage, leading to evidence-based joint advocacy and inclusion in the Buenos Aires Commitment.
We facilitated diversified and shared learning, research uptake and evidence-based collective action. We bring together diverse stakeholders – practitioners, researchers, policymakers, donors – to build global understanding, and promote contextualised, evidence-based collective action and advocacy.
- Convening in India brought 40 grassroots practitioners from 7 states to share learning and increase commitment to engaging with ever-married girls, a large and overlooked group; a newly formed community of practice and a report on findings will support this evidence-based process and advocacy through 2023.
- East Africa Learning Summit brought National Partnerships and coalitions from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda together with other stakeholders to track progress, strengthen joint advocacy and evidence-generation skills, and agree collective country work plans.
- The Child Marriage Research to Action Network’s (CRANK) quarterly research meetings, global convening and tailormade research and communications materials contributed to a more coordinated and equitable global research agenda, and promoted uptake of research and evidence for accelerated action.
- Girls Not Brides impact report 2022 (ENG) (PDF, 6.5MB)
- Impact report 2022 at a glance (ENG) (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Filles, Pas Epouses rapport d'impact 2022 (FRA) (PDF, 6.8MB)
- Aperçu de notre impact en 2022 (FRA) (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Girls Not Brides reporte de impacto 2022 (ESP) (PDF, 6.7MB)
- Panorama del impacto en 2022 (ESP) (PDF, 1.6MB)
-  UNICEF, 2021, Towards ending child marriage: Global trends and profiles of progress.