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Princess Mabel van Oranje to arrive in Mozambique today for visit to spur efforts to end child marriage

MAPUTO – Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, arrives in Mozambique today for a four-day visit to support and encourage efforts to end child marriage.

On the 11th April 2016, Mozambique launched their National Strategy to Prevent and Combat Child Marriage. The strategy was spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Affairs in consultation with multiple ministries, international agencies, donor partners, and Girls Not Brides Mozambique.

The strategy contains eight main pillars which are pivotal to ending child marriage in Mozambique, including: a communications and social mobilisation campaign; improving girls’ access to education, as well as sexual and reproductive health services, family planning, and sex education; support for married girls; and reform of the legal framework.

During the visit, Mabel van Oranje will meet a range of groups who have a role to play in efforts to end child marriage in Mozambique, including civil society organisations, government ministers, youth groups, faith leaders and traditional leaders. Mabel is in Mozambique to learn about the work underway to address child marriage in the country and to share what Girls Not Brides have learned from those around the world who are also working to end this global problem.

Mabel van Oranje will visit Mozambique as a co-founder and Chair of Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 600 civil society organisations from over 75 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Members of Girls Not Brides are united by a commitment to work in partnership to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfil their potential.

Media opportunities

Press conference – 11:30 – 12:00, Radisson Blu Hotel, Maputo

  • Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Zambeze room, 141 Av. Marginal, Maputo
  • Speakers: Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides, Albino Albino Francisco, Coordinator of the Coligação para a Eliminação dos Casamentos Prematuros (CECAP), and

Marcia de Castro, UN Resident Coordinator

  • A press release and photos from the visit will also be made available.

For further information about these media opportunities, contact:

About child marriage in Mozambique

Although there have been slight decreases in child marriage rates in Mozambique, population growth has meant that the actual number of married girls has increased. Mozambique has the tenth highest rate of child marriage in the world.

Nearly one in two girls in Mozambique are married before their 18th birthday, 14% are married by the age of 15. In Mozambique, the legal age of marriage is 18, and 16 with parental consent.

The reasons for why child marriage is prevalent varies across the country, but the common contributing factors are lack of access to education and poverty, as well as traditional practices, particularly in rural areas. In the north, traditional practices aimed at children from 10 to 13 years contribute to child marriage by emphasising the subordination of a girl to her husband and elders, and signifies a girl moving into adulthood and towards marriage.

The consequences for girls are long lasting and often devastating. Child brides in Mozambique face a wide range of social and health consequences including higher rates of maternal mortality, complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and a higher risk of HIV infection.

Country profile: child marriage in Mozambique.


Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides 

Click to download. Photo credit: Jeroen van der Meyde.

Click to download.
Photo credit: Jeroen van der Meyde.

Mabel is the Chair of the Board for Girls Not Brides. From 2008 to 2012, Mabel was the first Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to promote peace and human rights. Mabel led the consultations that shaped The Elders’ strategic decision to raise awareness about the often forgotten issue of child marriage and to create Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.

With over twenty years of experience in building partnerships for justice and change, Mabel’s vision has seen Girls Not Brides grow into a global partnership of over 600 civil society organisations that are based in over 80 countries, united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfill their potential.