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Girls stand up to stop child marriage

Plan International is committed to promoting children’s rights and protecting children from early and forced marriages. See how our programmes are empowering children to become the catalysts of change, and helping young women to end child marriages in their communities.

  • Radha escaped early marriage when she was 14, is a peer educator and a member of a Plan International-supported children’s rights group. © Bas Bogaerts/Plan International
  • Radha raising awareness in her community about the negative impact of child marriages. © Bas Bogaerts/Plan International
  • Radha practices karate to empower girls. © Bas Bogaerts/Plan International
  • Lipi, child rights activist, Bangladesh. © Bas Bogaerts/Plan International

Radha and Lipi – Children’s Rights Activists in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the early and forced marriage of girls is common; 66% of girls in Bangladesh are married under 18. 

Through children’s groups, Plan International works with young girls in the Dinajpur region to develop their leadership and mentoring skills as peer educators.

In turn, these girls will mentor children in their community and raise awareness on how to prevent child marriage.


Nurul, 18, Indonesia
Nurul, 18, Indonesia

Nurul – Advocate against child marriage in Indonesia

At just 18 years old, Nurul has done heroic work in standing up to child marriage. Learning about the value of education through children’s groups run by Plan International, in 2013 she conducted research on girls who were married young in her village. Since then she has worked to raise awareness of girls’ rights and the value of education, which has helped reduce the number of child brides in her community.

Nurul has travelled to international meetings to advocate for girls' rights as a Plan International Because I am a Girl ambassador and has been awarded Youth Initiator for Change by the Governor of Central Java for her lasting impact on the prevention of child marriage.

Now studying at university, Nurul continues to campaign against child marriage through the media and social media.


Girls Say No to Child Marriage in Africa

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In Sub-Saharan Africa, around 7 million girls are forced into an early marriage. It is one of the regions worst hit by child marriage across the world. Child brides are made to give up their education in order to raise families, and their health and wellbeing is put at serious risk.

Watch how children’s groups set up by Plan International are empowering children to know their rights and to stand up and say: ‘No I don’t want to be married. I want to continue with my education.’


Royce – Fighting Back Against Forced Marriage  in Zambia

Royce, 20, Zambia
Royce, 20, Zambia © Georges Morleghem/Plan International

Royce’s story is one of a fighter. Raised by her aunt and married off at 15, the young Zambian had the courage to take her daughter and leave her husband after 4 years of marriage.

Despite her difficult circumstances, Royce found the strength to fight back and returned to school at the age of 20.

Once back at school, Royce participated in Plan International’s ‘Girl Power' programme, which educates girls, boys and young women on their rights and the consequences of early and forced marriage.

Royce now works with Plan International as an advocate.

She shares her story with others and encourages girls to defend their rights, stay in school and not get married too young. 


Amrita – Empowered to Say No to Early Marriage in Nepal 

Amrita knew what she wanted in her life – to get her education and become a teacher. At high school, Amrita participated in a life skills programme which operates in her village under Plan International’s ‘Girl Power’ project. It was here that she learnt the disadvantages of child marriage and the importance of education.

When her parents tried to arrange a marriage proposal for her at the age of 16, Amrita had the courage to stand up to them.  

Amrita advocates against child marriage in Nepal
Amrita advocates against child marriage in Nepal

Empowered with the knowledge gained from our life skills programme, she asserted that she would not marry until she had finished her education. Fortunately, her parents respected her decision and declined the marriage proposal.

However, there are hundreds of girls across Nepal who cannot make the same choices.

Amrita is now a member of the Young Women’s Organisation where she shares the knowledge she gained from Plan International with other girls in her community and encourages them to stand up to early marriage.

Join Plan International's Because I am a Girl movement for girls' rights

Learn more about our work to end child marriage