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Let Girls Be Girls, Not Brides: The Role of Laws, Policies, and Targeted Programs in Ending Child Marriage

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Child marriage negatively affects multiple development outcomes. It epitomizes a lack of voice and agency for women as well as the interconnectedness of development challenges. Every year, millions of girls marry before turning 18. Child marriage leads to lower educational attainment for girls and lower earnings in adulthood. It leads to higher fertility and population growth. It affects negatively the health of child brides and their children. The economic costs of the practice are high, suggesting that apart from being the right thing to do, ending child marriage is also economically a smart investment.

How can child marriage be ended?  This session will discuss the role of laws, policies, and targeted programs to end the practice. The session will include among others an analysis of global trends in the minimum legal age for marriage, a review of successful interventions that have proven effective in delaying marriage, and case studies of such interventions. New results on trends, impacts, and solutions for specific regions such as West and Central Africa will be shared.

This event is part of a broader work program on child marriage with funding from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education.