"Every year, an estimated 15 million girls aged under 18 are married worldwide with little or no say in the matter." Child marriage as a social construct, ruptures childhood and exposes young married girls to early sexuality, pregnancy and childbearing, and has severe health and social consequences generally denying girls their rights.
This research VSO investigated the extent and factors that cause child marriages in three countries: Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The research explores the impact of child marriage, the causes of child marriage, the legal framework age of marriage and the countries responses to reduce child marriage.
Key recommendations include:
- The developing and implementing of national action plans to end child marriage
- Empowering girls to mitigate against child marriage
- Community mobilization against child marriage
- Provision of services to mitigate against child marriage
- Advocacy for countries to address the problem of child marriage
- Enabling legal and policy environment