Strengthening collective action to end child marriage
At Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, our vision is a world without child marriage, where girls and women enjoy equal status with boys and men and can reach their full potential.
Our strength and passion lie in our 1,500+ member organizations around the world. They work to end child marriage and ensure that all girls can stay in school, stay healthy and have the futures they dream of.
Strengthening collective action to end child marriage, keep girls in school and advance gender equality in West Africa
Child marriage is one of the main factors leading girls to drop out of school in many low-income countries; and keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to prevent child marriage.
Girls Not Brides interactive atlas has information on child marriage prevalence, drivers, legal frameworks and organizations working to end the practice around the world.
Many civil society organisations (CSOs) are members of both education and end child marriage coalitions, but often advocate separately. Our project is funded by Education Out Loud and focuses on Francophone West Africa – in particular Burkina Faso and Niger – a region with a high prevalence of child marriage and out-of-school girls.
We will bring together CSOs and actors working on education and child marriage in West Africa and around the world. By sharing learnings and strengthening collective advocacy for laws, policies and programmes that improve girls’ access to quality education, we can help end child marriage.
In May, our allies in Burkina Faso and Niger will host launch events following an online workshop with all project partners. The events will involve those working on child marriage and education, government representatives, traditional and religious leaders and youth-led organizations. They will help build new relationships, share learnings, and plot a joint way forward.
We will also do regional research on how to improve access to quality education for girls at risk of child marriage and married girls in West Africa, particularly in relation to COVID-19. This will inform our advocacy recommendations, ensuring they are evidence-based and work to transform girls’ lives.
To learn more about our project or participate in a launch event, please contact our Partnership and Learning lead, Emma Pearce.
- Of the 20 countries with the highest child marriage prevalence, six are in West Africa, including Niger (76%) and Burkina Faso (52%). Population growth means that – even as prevalence drops – more girls in West Africa will experience child marriage than ever before unless we accelerate our work.
- Burkina Faso: In 2010, 52% of girls in Burkina Faso were married before the age of 18. Burkina Faso has the seventh highest prevalence of child marriage in the world. Nationally, prevalence has not dropped over the past three decades, and has even intensified in some regions.
- Niger: 76% of girls in Niger are married before the age of 18. Niger has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world and – at 750,000 – the 13th highest absolute number of child brides in the world.
- West Africa also has the highest gender gap in education.
- Many of the factors that drive child marriage and school dropout are made worse by insecurity in countries like Niger and Burkina Faso.