We shape global policies and work with local organizations to prevent early and forced marriage, and to ensure that vulnerable youth, including married and unmarried adolescent girls, can access the information and services they need. We advocate at the United Nations and in Washington, DC, to secure government commitments and funding to end the harmful practice of child marriage around the world.
“Child marriage” is generally understood to mean marriages that take place before age 18, but for many girls, marriage occurs much earlier. In some countries, girls as young as 7 or 8 are forced by their families to marry much older men. The reasons girls are married are diverse, and parents sometimes believe that through marriage, they are protecting their daughters and increasing their economic opportunities. However, child marriage exposes girls to increased health problems and violence, denies them access to social networks and support systems, and perpetuates a cycle of poverty and gender inequality.
In the Extreme North of Cameroon, where our partner APAD is based, nearly 80% of girls have experienced an early and forced marriage before the age of 18. APAD is led by young women who are survivors of child marriage. They work to empower girls like them, and to make sure survivors are able to tell their stories, demand social change, and survive on their own. In this video, these brave young women shared their stories and explained how they are working to end this harmful practice.
IWHC partners from Cameroon will be on hand to provide expert opinions on successful strategies.
A travelogue At the end of October, IWHC brought four inspiring women from northern Cameroon to the United States to participate in Girl Summit DC and to advocate for the U.S. Government to do more to end child marriage. All of the women have been touc …
Nearly 200 advocates, experts, and US government officials gathered at Girl Summit DC to discuss emerging research and effective strategies for ending child marriage.
Four Cameroonian activists working to end child marriage will join advocates and leading experts on November 5 in DC.