Long Read
10 November 2016

Mabel van Oranje launches Girls Not Brides Netherlands

Princess Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides, with Ariette Brouwer (Director Simavi), Monique van ‘t Hek (Director Plan Netherlands) and Jeroen den Tex (Director Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland), on behalf of the three Dutch alliances that work against child marriages, launched Girls Not Brides Netherlands. The new network will focus on knowledge exchange and joint activities to prevent child marriages nationally and internationally. The launch last November 7 took place in Amsterdam.

Girls Not Brides is a partnership of more than 600 civil society organisations based in over 80 countries, united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable every girl to fulfil her potential.

The new Dutch National Partnership will work to share knowledge and work on joint initiatives to prevent child marriages both nationally and internationally. It becomes the 8th official national partnership of Girls Not Brides.

Girls Not Brides the Netherlands was founded by thirteen Dutch organisations, including Simavi, which in turn work with dozens of partner organisations across Africa and Asia. The organisations work together in three civil society alliances.

Accelerated efforts

Netherlands is currently a global leader in tackling child marriage. The Dutch government has made significant financial commitments, as have donors based in the country. Civil society organisations based in the Netherlands have also been at the forefront of efforts to end child marriage. These commitments need to be sustained and increased over the coming years, and the new Dutch National Partnership will play a critical role in achieving this. While we are making progress, global efforts need to be accelerated if we want to avoid the number of women married as children reaching 1.2 billion by 2050.

15 million girls per year

Worldwide, one girl, under the age 18, is married off every two seconds. Every seven seconds, a girl under the age of 15. Per year, that’s 15 million girls. That means 39,000 child marriage every day. They are often forced, and with a much older man. Ninety per cent of teenage pregnancy takes place within the marriage. Complications related to pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death in girls aged between 15 and 19.

*The three other Dutch alliances include:

Her Choice: Kinderpostzegels, The Hunger Project, International Child Development Initiatives, Universiteit van Amsterdam

Yes I Do: Plan Nederland, Rutgers, Amref Flying Doctors, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

More Than Brides: Save the Children Nederland, Simavi, Oxfam Novib, the Population Council

These three alliances are working in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through a five-year program (2016-2020) in over 20 countries to combat child marriage.


Accelerating Progress to End Child Marriage

  • National Partnerships are diverse groups of Girls Not Brides members who believe in the power of collective action to end child marriage in their country.
  • Girls Not Brides has National Partnerships in eight countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nepal, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Girls Not Brides also works with national coalitions in other countries, including the Tanzania End Child Marriage Network (TECMN), The Zambia Ending Child Marriage NGO Network, and the Zimbabwe Alliance to End Child Marriage.

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