10 May 2021

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Every year, 12 million girls are married before their 18th birthday. Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage has raised awareness of this human rights violation for ten years, and on this milestone anniversary the global network of more than 1,500 civil society organisations around the world is asking for continued, and public, support to let girls be girls, and not brides.

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the charity is working in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to end child marriage and other harmful practices that hamper girls’ lives, such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

Child marriage is a global issue, fuelled by gender inequality, poverty, and insecurity. It has devastating consequences for girls all over the world, depriving them of their rights to health, education, and opportunity. It is estimated that up to 13 million more girls could enter child marriages by 2030 due to the impacts of the pandemic.

In 2020, Girls Not Brides worked with partners in Uganda – a country where 34% of girls marry as children – to accelerate change within communities and government and raise awareness of the harmful practice through the media.

Girls Not Brides trained youth activists to speak up for their rights and supported religious leaders and parliamentarians to become agents of change. 

As a result, partners are working together from the grassroots to the government on initiatives that promote girls’ rights, building a world where girls can choose who, when and if to marry.

This year Girls Not Brides is expanding the project in East Africa. The support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery is ensuring young people in Uganda, and now Kenya and Tanzania, are empowered to be changemakers in their communities.

This Summer, Girls Not Brides is launching a global campaign calling on global, regional and national leaders and decision-makers to step up to empower girls, and end child marriage. There has been significant progress on the issue since the movement started in 2011, but now is the time to intensify and accelerate our collective work to achieve our mission: a world without child marriage. Girls must have increased sexual and physical health and rights, personal safety both inside and outside of their households, access to personal support and education, and ownership over their future.