Quick Read
26 October 2017

West and Central African countries want to end child marriage

Great news! Twenty-four countries in West and Central Africa have agreed to combat child marriage. This was announced on Wednesday October 25 at the end of the three-day High-Level Meeting on Ending Child Marriage in Dakar, Senegal.


The meeting was co-organised by the Girls Not Brides Network, Save the Children, Plan and UNICEF. The meeting brought together government leaders, civil society, religious and traditional leaders and youth from around the region, as well as donors, regional African organisations, the African Union and the United Nations.

It is exciting to see the encouraging progress that is starting to take place at national level, says Girls Not Brides Network in their takeaways. This region has the highest child marriage rate in the world. Out of every five girls two are married by the age of 18. The countries have agreed now that the legal minimum age to marry must rise to 18 years. In our fight against child marriage, Simavi welcomes this result.

Marlijn, Program Officer SRHR: “Child marriage is a violation of children’s rights to health, protection, and bodily integrity, and impedes sustainable development. Not only that, tackling child marriage is critical for reducing maternal and child mortality Therefore Simavi is working hard to put an end to the practice of child marriage across the whole world – and progress is being made. “

Together with Save the Children, Oxfam Novib and the Population Council, Simavi is striving to end child marriage in the More Than Brides Alliance. Learn more about our work against child marriage  here or read the outcome document of the high-level meeting on ending child marriage in West and Central Africa  here.

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