UNICEF: Child Marriage Tied to Poverty & Lack of Education

This week UNICEF released a new report on child marriage as part of the first ever Girls Summit, an event aimed at ending child marriage, forced genital mutilation (FGM), and other practices that harm and disenfranchise women and girls within a generation.

The report finds four countries where buildOn is currently building schools – Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali and Nepal – among the countries with the highest rates of child marriage. Not surprisingly, UNICEF finds that poverty and lack of education are inextricably linked to the prevalence of  child marriage. Practices like this are one of the reasons buildOn has made gender equality a cornerstone of our school building methodology.

Some troubling statistics from the report on the prevalence of child marriage across the developing world:

The UNICEF report finds dire, lifelong and intergenerational consequences for girls who are forced into child marriages:

The report shows that the prevalence child marriage goes hand-in-hand with poverty and lack of education:

Progress is being made, but must be accelerated in order to end child marriage in the coming decades:

The report concludes: “Ending child marriage will help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by allowing girls and women to participate more fully in society. Empowered and educated girls are better able to nourish and care for their children, leading to healthier, smaller families. When girls are allowed to be girls, everybody wins.”

For buildOn gender equality is the cornerstone of our education methodology, and we recognize the power of education to transform the lives of everyone who has access to it. In many of the countries where we work, women are routinely treated as second-class citizens, but from the beginning of each school construction project we champion the rights of women and girls. buildOn emphasizes gender balance in the Project Leadership Committee responsible for leading the school’s construction, on the jobsite, and in the school’s attendance.

As a condition of partnering with buildOn, each village makes a promise to send their daughters to school in equal numbers with their sons. Through this effort buildOn has given women and girls in many rural villages their first opportunity to become educated and contribute meaningfully to their communities. Currently, 50% of students in buildOn’s 600+ schools are female.

You can help champion global gender equality by donating to our programs or sharing this post.

Posted July 24, 2014 in News by buildOn

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This week UNICEF released a new report on child marriage as part of the first ever Girls Summit, an... https://www.buildon.org/2014/07/unicef-report-child-marriage-tied-poverty-lack-education/

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