UN programme to help spare millions from child marriage, extended to 2023

©UNFPA-UNICEF Nepal/KPanday The girls at greatest risk of early marriage are often those hardest to reach. They come from poor families, marginalized groups or rural areas.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Millions of girls have been able to avoid “an unwanted marriage and an unwelcome end to their childhood”, since the launch four years ago, of a joint UN agency programme, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage, a multi-country initiative to help protect the rights of millions of girls, was launched in 2016 with the involvement of families, educators, health providers, governments, as well as religious and community leaders, with the ambitious aim of ending the practice by 2030.

And it will be renewed for an additional thre years, according to UNICEF and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which works to advance sexual and productive health. Since then, it has helped more than eight million adolescent girls and more than five million community members, with information, skills and services.

By 2023, the programme aims to have reached more than 14 million adolescent girls across 12 countries in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Despite the progress so far, “12 million girls are still marrying in childhood every year, causing irreversible damage to their future, health and well-being”, said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The next four years of the programme are critical to driving momentum and action and ending this devastating practice once and for all”.

Generation Equality

The second phase of the programme was launched in the context of the Generation Equality campaign, which focuses on issues facing women across multiple generations, with young women and girls at the centre.

It will continue to focus on proven strategies, including increasing access to education and health care services for girls, educating parents on the dangers of child marriage, as well as promoting gender equality and enforcing laws that establish 18 as the minimum marriage age.

The programme will also emphasize the importance of using robust data and evidence to inform policies related to adolescent girls.

“As long as girls are being married as children, we cannot achieve the gender-equal world that young people are demanding”, said UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem. “Girls should have the power to make their own choices about when and whom they will marry, about continuing their education, and about whether and when they have children”.

The scheme has also supported governments to develop and implement national strategies to end child marriage.

Much work to be done

Worldwide, an estimated 650 million girls and women alive today were married as children, with nearly half living in countries supported through the Global Programme.

While South Asia has led the way in reducing child marriage over the last decade, the global burden has shifted to sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of progress need to be scaled up dramatically to offset population growth.

Nearly one in three recently-married girls are now in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to one in five, a decade ago.

Lifelong consequences

When a girl is forced to marry as a child, she faces immediate and lifelong consequences.

Her odds of finishing school decrease as those of experiencing domestic violence rise.

Moreover, her chances of becoming pregnant during adolescence are higher and she is more likely to die of complications in pregnancy and childbirth. There are also huge societal consequences, and a higher risk of perpetuating intergenerational cycles of poverty.

To end the practice by 2030 – the target set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – progress must be significantly accelerated. Without further acceleration, in ten years more than 120 million additional girls will marry before their 18th birthday.

“The Global Programme is committed to empowering girls to exercise their rights, fulfill their potential, and drive change in their communities”, Dr. Kanem spelled out.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

People are scared of artificial intelligence – here’s why we should embrace it instead

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

An alternative view of Globalization 4.0, and how to get there

Ahead of key UN-backed Marrakech migration conference, youth recount harrowing journeys

Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy

‘Save Tuvalu; save the world’; UN chief echoes rallying cry from front lines of global climate emergency

Sudan military committed to ‘ensuring stability’ and ‘peaceful transition’ says senior diplomat, as UN rights chief appeals for protesters’ rights to be upheld

These countries are pioneering hydrogen power

MEPs demand Bulgaria’s and Romania’s swift accession to Schengen area

The Social Committee may accept the new ‘contractual’ Eurozone

“What a Wonderful World”: the unsettled relationship between Climate Change and Human Health

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

Reforms in Latvia must result in stronger enforcement to tackle foreign bribery and subsequent money laundering risks

After John Lewis: 21 civil rights leaders who are shaping America

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

State aid: Commission approves €1.5 billion Dutch scheme to compensate public transport companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

The China-US trade deal will be signed on time; the path is set

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

MEPs strengthen EU financial watchdogs

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

DR Congo: Restore internet services as ‘a matter of urgency’, urges UN expert

This Japanese concept will help you see the world – and learn – in a different way

EU signs with Canada historic trade agreement, others to follow

Donor countries set international standard for preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment in development sector

Trump beats Clinton but Americans will learn the hard way that the US can’t change with an election

Algorithms are being used to convict criminals and decide jail time. We need to make sure they are fair

Prolonged economic crisis and drought demands urgent response for Zimbabwe’s ‘hardest hit’: UN relief chief

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

Make progress or risk redundancy, UN chief warns world disarmament body

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

‘Ground Zero’: Report from the former Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan

Peacekeeping: A ‘great opportunity’ to develop professionally and personally

Cultural leaders envision a post-COVID world

As Syria conflict enters ninth year, humanitarian crisis ‘far from over’, Security Council hears

99 per cent of intravenous drug users lack access to health, ‘social services with dignity’ says UNAIDS chief

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

This is how Europe is helping companies and workers as the coronavirus crisis deepens

Health privatization to blame for health inequality or poor investment in public health?

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

Why Europe’s high productive performance is discredited?

Women ‘vital’ to peace efforts and ensuring long-lasting stability in Afghanistan

UN General Assembly President upholds value of multilateralism in speech closing annual debate

Further reforms will move Slovakia toward a more innovative and inclusive society

Negotiations on new EU collective redress rules to begin

Resilience in times of pandemic

State aid: Commission approves €199.45 million Italian support to compensate Alitalia for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

What makes a good healthcare professional?

Vaccine against Ebola: Commission grants first-ever market authorisation

European Parliament calls on Russia to end occupation of Georgian territories

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Great Reset: Why LGBT+ inclusion is the secret to cities’ post-pandemic success

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s