By: Kristin Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer, The Global Fund for Children
Women as a whole have made great strides towards equality, but the fact remains that too many girls in the developing world live in circumstances that are unfair at best, and dangerous at worst. Who are these vulnerable girls? They are child brides. Roughly one-third of all girls in developing nations are married before they turn 18, and in certain countries the number climbs even higher. What does the future hold for a child bride? A lifetime of illiteracy and a drastically increased risk of dying from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Read more...
May 6th, 2013
By: Kristin Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer, The Global Fund for Children
April 1st, 2013
Girls and women are catalysts for change (#girls4change). When girls and women are educated, healthy, and empowered, they invest back into their families, communities, and nations. We know it’s true – when girls and women survive, the world thrives. That’s why we want to make sure girls and women are a focal point in the TEDxChange 2013 discussions. Read more...
October 10th, 2012
As the world celebrates the first International Day of the Girl Child, Women Deliver Launches Catapult Crowdfunding Platform
- United Nations chooses child marriage as theme for International Day of the Girl Child
- Activities planned around the world to highlight urgent need for action
- Women Deliver launches Catapult – the first online funding platform solely dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women.
On the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child, Women Deliver calls for urgent action to address child marriage worldwide. Every day globally, 25,000 girls are robbed of their childhood. Read more...
October 8th, 2012
By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver
This Thursday, we celebrate the first ever International Day of the Girl, a global call to action to advocate for girls’ rights. In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish this day to raise awareness on the issues girls face every day, promote girls’ rights, and highlight gender inequality. Girls Not Brides and its members in more than 30 countries are marking this day with action. Read more...
August 6th, 2012
By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver
“I hate early marriage. I was married at an early age and my in-laws forced me to sleep with my husband and he made me suffer all night. After that, whenever it starts to get dark, I get worried, thinking that it will be like that. This is what I hate most.”
— 11-year old girl from Amhara region, Ethiopia. Married at age 5, lost her virginity at age 9.
The Berhane Hewan (“Light for Eve” in Amharic) project was established to help girls like this one by providing best practices to protect them from early marriage and supporting those who are already married. Read more...
August 1st, 2012
By: Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu; Originally posted on Washington Post
Graça Machel was the first education minister of Mozambique. Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. They are members of The Elders, a group of independent leaders working for peace and human rights.
“If adults know child marriage is wrong, why do they allow it to happen?” a teenage girl asked one of us during a visit this year to Bihar , a state in northeast India where, despite national law to the contrary, 69 percent of girls are married before age 18. Read more...
June 29th, 2012
The Ford Foundation, in partnership with the Girls Not Brides campaign, has recently shared their child marriage interactive map, and partner index of Girls Not Brides member organizations. The map is linked to the recent article from Time magazine titled, “Why Is It So Hard to Combat Child Marriage?”
The website examines 30 countries with the highest rates of child marriage, and offers some alarming statistics: “Across the developing world, more than one-third of girls are married by age 18, and one in seven is married by age 15, with devastating effects on girls’ health, education, earning power and independence.” Read more...
June 11th, 2012
Originally posted on Girls Not Brides
Last week, one of the world’s most credible, respected bodies on global health held a debate on early marriage, adolescent and youth pregnancies. The discussion at the World Health Assembly, a body that determines the policies of the World Health Organisation (WHO), formally recognised that we need to act across all health sectors if we’re to achieve a reduction in early marriage and save the lives of millions of young mothers. Read more...
April 26th, 2012
By: Chaitra Arjunpuri; Originally posted on Al Jazeera
I am one of those unfortunate Hindu women whose hard lot is to suffer the unnameable miseries entailed by the custom of early marriage. This wicked practice of child marriage has destroyed the happiness of my life. It comes between me and the things which I prize above all others - study and mental cultivation. Without the least fault of mine, I am doomed to seclusion; every aspiration of mine to rise above my ignorant sisters is looked down upon with suspicion and is interpreted in the most uncharitable manner..."
- Extract from a letter written by a woman named Rukhmabai to The Times of India on June 26, 1885, reproduced in Child Marriage in India: Socio-legal and Human Rights Dimensions, by Jaya Sagade (Oxford University Press, 2005). Read more...
March 16th, 2012
“Child brides are some of the world’s most isolated people. We are delighted that the work of Girls Not Brides and its members to give these girls a voice and to empower those vulnerable to child marriage has been recognised by Women Deliver,” said Marianna Brungs, Coordinator of Girls Not Brides, as the new global partnership to end child marriage was recognised as one of the “most inspiring ideas and solutions delivering for girls and women.” Read more...
March 12th, 2012
By: Rati Bishnoi, Women Deliver
Despite being outlawed for more than 100 years, nearly one-half (43 percent) of girls in India are married before the minimum legal marriage age of 18 years.
This is changing. But at a pace that’s too slow.
Child marriage is a gross violation of the rights of girls and boys. It denies the basic rights to health; nutrition; education; a life free of violence, abuse, and exploitation; and deprives children of their childhood. While child marriage affects boys as well, it impacts a greater proportion of girls and does so more severely. Read more...
November 14th, 2011
By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate, Women Deliver
When Kakenya Ntaiya was 5 years old, she was engaged to be married. Growing up in Enoosaen, a rural Maasi village in southwestern Kenya, she helped her mother tend the farm and cattle, take care of her siblings, and gather water from the river. She rarely had the chance to attend school; only when her chores were completed.
In her village, like many others in Kenya, girls are expected to undergo female genital cutting (FGC), a coming-of-age ritual signifying womanhood at the age of puberty. After the ceremony has concluded, she is deemed ready for marriage. But Kakenya did not want to be married yet. She had dreams of going through primary and secondary school, going to college and becoming a teacher. Read more...
October 19th, 2011
By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, Volunteer at Women Deliver
Yesterday, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, held a public event to explore the environmental and social impact of our global population reaching 7 billion this year, and highlighted the need for women's empowerment to be at the core of any plans that look to create sustainability.
Joel Cohen, a Professor of Populations at Columbia University, gave the keynote address and discussed how decelerating population growth is essential to global development and to addressing our environmental crisis. He believes in “empowering women to be able to have the number of children they want, and educating them, so they are able to decide.” Read more...
May 31st, 2011
By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver
Nearly one-half or 48 percent of girls in Yemen are married by the age of 18 years old, with 14 percent married by the time they turn 15 years old. In addition, it is common for girls in remote areas to be betrothed as young as 9 years old and for 57 percent of girls living in poverty to be married age 18. Read more...
January 17th, 2011
By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver
In Guatemala, young indigenous girls living in rural areas often do not have a chance to go to school. Instead, they help their families, living in social isolation and sometimes chronic poverty. They often marry young and have many children – the country’s fertility rates are among the highest in Latin America, with each woman bearing an average of 4.4 children over her lifetime. These indigenous girls have limited access to basic services such as water, sanitation, passable roads, and health care. To help break the cycle and enable these girls to reach their full potential, the Population Council, in collaboration with other partners, launched a program called Abriendo Oportunidades (Creating Opportunities) in 2004. Read more...
December 3rd, 2010
This week the US Senate unanimously passed the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act, the first piece of legislation endorsed by the US government to address child marriage. Sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), the law seeks to strengthen the US government’s role in preventing child marriage, expanding investments to empower young girls, and include child marriage in the State Department annual Human Rights Report. Read more...
November 23rd, 2010
The Guardian International Development Journalism competition, supported by Marie Stopes International, announced the winners of the 2010 competition last week. The goal of this journalism competition is to generate articles that will help to raise awareness with the general public on the need for continued investment in international development and support for the Millennium Development Goals. Read more...
October 25th, 2010
October 7th, 2010
By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver
The Preston Auditorium at the World Bank is an unlikely place for a hip-hop concert--especially a concert with a significant focus on women and girls. However, yesterday I attended the Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) Event hosted by the World Bank and the Nike Foundation where energy and optimism flowed through the venue as passionate activists, performers, and leaders came to celebrate progress for adolescent girls. Read more...
September 28th, 2010
Girleffect.org tells the story of girls creating a ripple impact of social and economic change on their families, communities and nations. Launched a few years ago, this compelling video showed the world the power of investing in girls. Last week, at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Girl Effect launched a new video that builds on the original message, and discusses important issues like child marriage and early pregnancy for adolescent girls.