While an estimated 25 million child marriages have been prevented over the past decade, no developing country is currently on track to meet the UN goal of wiping out the practice by 2030. Last year, 21% of women between 20 and 24 years globally were married or in a Union before the Age of 18.
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A recent Save the Children study in Niger – which has the highest rates of child marriage, early pregnancy, and being malnourished. Hellen Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International, said that while education alone won’t end child marriage, it is a critical piece of the puzzle I’m ending the abusive practice.
The world has made incredible progress in the fight against poverty, but progress has not been spread equally or fairly. Millions of girls continue to be married as children, miss out on basic education and die from preventable causes. child marriage is a cross cutting challenge driven by and impacting on girls’ health and nutrition, access to education, safety and ability to influence decisions that affect their lives. Across the world, governments are failing to put child marriage at the centre of the political agenda and coordinate effective responses across the education, health, nutrition, protection, economic and justice sectors.
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The briefing highlights the impact that universal education could have, as well as the huge amount of progress still needed to end child marriage and ensure all girls are able to complete secondary education. In addition, it calls on all world leaders to prioritise girls’ access to health and protection programmes to help end child marriage, barriers to girls education must be removed.
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Governments must step up their efforts to develop and implement multi-sectoral national action plans to end child marriage, coordinating across ministries and stakeholders to ensure effective, joined-up approaches. Progress is being made but not fast enough. on this International Day of the Girls, we urge governments to prioritise tackling child marriage, one of the major barriers to the empowerment and education of so many girls.
We call for a stronger coordination and effective response across the education, health, nutrition, protection economic and justice sectors in order to improve the lives of many disadvantages girls. Save the Children urges for an increased investment on improving the quality of and access to, primary and secondary education in particular as well as the development and implementation of a multi-sectoral action plans to strengthen girls equal access to and completion of quality education that empowers them to make an informed decision on issues that affect them.
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