To reduce the number of girls that marry every year, child marriage programming must be taken to scale. You can create lasting progress on child marriage by making a Power to Girls commitment to large-scale investment in structural change that will reach across communities and countries to prevent marriage and support married girls.
Scaling solutions to end child marriage should be led by governments, with strong partnerships with – and accountability sought by – civil society, and supported by targeted development assistance and domestic resource mobilisation. These interventions must take place at the same time as programming to influence behaviours and attitudes to ensure that the services provided are acceptable and adopted by the community.
Governments, civil society organisations and other stakeholders should:
- Fund and support long-term social norms transformation – over four years or more – with a focus on gender equality, alongside large-scale structural programmes. This will ensure that programming to change attitudes and behaviours is accompanied by access to the tools and services individuals need to exercise their rights. Multi-year funding recognises that sustainable transformation of social norms takes many years to secure.
- Invest in social norms programming that focuses on all who influence attitudes that result in child marriage, engaging communities and leaders, including boys and men. This will ensure that the transformation of norms around child marriage are supported by the whole community.
- Ensure community mobilisation programming led by frontline workers from those communities – specifically community dialogue programmes and wider mass media campaigns that address widely-held attitudes and offer alternatives to the status quo – is the basis of programming to transform social norms. This will ensure that the broad-base transformation of social norms needed to influence child marriage will be felt across the wider community.
These recommendations come from Girls Not Brides Decade of Progress report. This is a milestone paper marking our tenth anniversary which brings together insights we have gained and steps we must all take to harness our collective energy and accelerate change over the next decade.