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.

Advertising

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

UN honours fallen colleagues and friends who ‘risk all to promote peace’

International trade statistics: trends in first quarter 2019

Why the merchant ships can pollute the atmosphere with CO2 quite freely

South Sudan’s foreseen genocide: from “Never Again” to “Again and Again and Again”?

Asia’s plastic problem is choking the world’s oceans. Here’s how to fix it

Why the financial scandals multiply?

Rohingya cannot become ‘forgotten victims,’ says UN chief urging world to step up support

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

UN food relief agency airlifts aid to DR Congo province hit by Ebola outbreak

Australia needs to intensify efforts to meet its 2030 emissions goal

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

On sidelines of UN climate summit, US President calls for protection of religious freedom

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

‘Countless opportunities’ for new people-centred workplace, but ‘decisive action’ critical

The US-Mexico trade deal a threat for others, Trump to single out China, Europe

In polarized America, a new divide looms

What’s happening to Greenland will affect the whole world – and our leaders need to understand why

Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

How TV has brought mental health issues into the light – and helped to banish stigma

Erasmus+: a turning point in the lives of 5 million European students

4 ways the US can take the lead in the fight against human trafficking

Corruption undermines democracy and contributes to instability, warns senior UN anti-crime official

Car clocking: MEPs call for new legislation to combat odometer fraud

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

World Retail Congress announces Dubai 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge

UN rights chief denounces Burundi for ‘belligerent and defamatory’ attack on inquiry team

UN agency hails Brazil ‘milestone’ decision over Venezuelan refugees

China’s response shows how bold decision-making can contain coronavirus

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

3 vital skills for the age of disruption

Scotland “shows the way” to separatist movements as Catalonia calls a vote on independence

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Ebola in DR Congo, malnutrition in Laos, baby health, support for Sahel force, #ClimateAction

This is the environmental catastrophe you’ve probably never heard of

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

Fairer and clearer rules on social benefits for EU mobile workers agreed

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

It’s a frenzied clash between moderates and no-deal Brexiteers

UN climate summit aims to speed up transition to cleaner, greener future

ECB’s first flight in Eurozone’s banking universe will be just a reconnaissance

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

Coronavirus: UN health agency moves fast to tackle ‘infodemic’; Guterres warns against stigmatization

Coronavirus: MEPs call for solidarity among EU member states

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Mobile World Congress 2015 first to debate EU’s new stance on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges

These are the world’s best countries to retire in, as of 2019

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

European Business Summit 2014 : The Sting Report, Day II – Business, Politics and EBS 2015

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest news from Monday’s World Health Organization briefing

EU finally to extend sanctions on Russia despite arguments; Greece again in Europe’s spotlight

3 reasons all countries should embrace the Global Compact for Migration

European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks

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