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Tackling the Taboo: Ending child, early and forced marriage

Overview

This report captures promising gender transformative work on child, early and forced marriages taking place in politically and culturally conservative contexts, including programmes led by grassroots organisations.

Opening a dialogue to end child, early, and forced marriages 

This report captures promising gender transformative work taking place in politically and culturally conservative contexts, including programmes led by grassroots organisations. The findings are meant to be used:

  1. as a learning tool for programme implementers
  2. to present gaps and opportunities for future research
  3.  as a tool for advocates to open dialogue with leaders and policymakers about how programming designed to address CEFMU can advance girls’ and women’s greater sexual agency, bodily autonomy, freedom and dignity.

 

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Control and regulation of sexuality - in particular adolescent girls' sexuality - is a critical and often unaddressed manifestation of gender inequality that exists is different cultural contexts and communities around the world. For adolescent girls, restrictions on sexuality are exacerbated by age and gender, which are key dimensions of inequality.

Controlling adolescent girls through marriage

Rooted in patriarchy, control of adolescent girls’ sexuality is a driver of one of the world’s most prevalent harmful practices: child, early and forced marriage and unions (CEFMU). CEFMU is a stark example of how women’s and girls’ life choices – down to the most intimate of if, whom and when to marry – are taken from them and controlled by others.

The persistence of child marriage

Unless control of sexuality and harmful gender norms that subordinate the position of women and girls in society are addressed head on, CEFMU will persist.