Girls Not Brides
Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of civil society organizations committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfill their potential. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 28 girls every minute – married off too soon, endangering their personal development and well-being. With more young people on our planet than ever before, child marriage is a human rights violation that we must end to achieve a fairer future for all. Child brides face huge challenges as a result of being married as children. Isolated, often with their freedom curtailed, girls frequently feel disempowered and are deprived of their fundamental rights to health, education, and safety. Girls Not Brides’ mission is to end this injustice.
We were launched in September 2011 by The Elders, a group of independent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to promote human rights and social justice. They decided to make child marriage the flagship issue of their efforts to advance gender equality. In only five years, our Partnership is already 750 members strong in more than 90 countries! Girls Not Brides members work in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. We all share the same belief: that every girl has the right to lead the life that she chooses and that, by ending child marriage, we can achieve a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all. Our diversity is our strength. Together, Girls Not Brides members bring child marriage to global, regional and national attention; build an understanding of what it will take to end child marriage and call for the laws, policies, and programs that will make a difference in the lives of millions of girls
Much progress has been made to address child marriage in the last five years, and Girls Not Brides members have played a key role in making it happen. Our collective advocacy helped secure a target to end child marriage by 2030 in the Sustainable Development Goals and raise the profile of child marriage at the UN Human Rights Council.
We now better understand what it will take to end child marriage and the role that everyone plays in this effort. Over 150 Girls Not Brides members, partners, and experts developed a Theory of Change showing what interventions are needed. This document was used in countries like Nepal to develop strategies to address child marriage. In eight countries, Girls Not Brides members have formed National Partnerships to better advocate for an end to child marriage. They work with governments to improve laws and policies, and together they come up with ways to better support girls at the community level. But there is much more to do! Our strategy for 2017-2020 is ambitious but we know that, if we work together, we can achieve it and build a better world for girls – one where child marriage does not exist.
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