Child Marriage

Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa

Sexual violence against women and girls is widespread globally. In their lifetime, one in three women will experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence and 7 per cent will experience forced sex by someone other than an intimate partner. 

This study finds protective effects of educational attainment against lifetime experience of sexual violence among women in Uganda, but not in Malawi. In the pathway analyses this research also found large impact on delaying marriage in both countries. These results suggest that policies aimed at increasing educational attainment among girls may have broad-ranging long-term benefits.

Click here to download the full report. 

Source: UNICEF Office of Research- Innocenti 

Ending Child Marriage and Stopping the Spread of HIV: Opportunities and challenges for action

This desk review by the African Union Commission and RIATT-ESA examines some of the existing literature to highlight what is known about the links between child marriage and HIV, and spotlights opportunities for further action.

Very few studies have explicitly explored the two phenomena. Given recent increases in the number of adolescent girls who are HIV-positive and the high numbers and rates of child marriage in countries with high HIV prevalence, the data do suggest a correlation between ending child marriage and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. Concerted action on both is undoubtedly needed. Ending child marriage should immediately be included in HIV programming, and can likely contribute to preventing, treating, stopping and eradicating HIV/AIDS. 

Click here to download the full report. 

Preliminary Research Into the Extent, Factors and Effects of Child Marriage.

"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 

Click here to download the full research. 



A Check-list for National Strategies to End Child Marriage

This check-list is a tool for Girls Not Brides members and National Partnerships, as well as UN and government stakeholders, who are either in the early stages of developing a policy or strategy to address child marriage in their countries or reflecting on an existing national strategy and how to maximise its impact. It provides a framework for analysing the process of developing national strategies, provides suggestions for what content might be included in these strategies, and highlights questions to consider for how they could be implemented.

Click here to download the check list