Discrimination against women and deep-rooted gender inequality is at the core of violence against women and girls.5 It is this, combined with poverty, social norms, and a lack of access to education that leads so many girls to be married at a tender age. In turn, child marriage traps girls and their families in a cycle of poverty,6 as girls are less likely to be able to stay in school, access employment opportunities, and have control over the size of their families. All forms of violence against women and girls, including child marriage, are preventable.
As part of our 3-month #UnlockFutures campaign, here is what Camfed is doing to empower young women and communities to end child marriage:
-Supporting some of the most marginalised girls in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania and Ghana to go to school. When girls are able to stay in school, they are less likely to enter into early marriages, and receive the knowledge, confidence and empowerment they need to stay in school, succeed, and lead.
-Training young women from the Camfed alumnae network, CAMA, to become activists, mentors and agents of change in their communities. As many of these young women were once destined to be child brides, they understand what it takes to help girls escape this poverty trap. As trained ‘GirlGuardians’, CAMA members identify girls in their communities who are vulnerable to early marriage, and work with families and local authorities to ensure girls receive the support they need to stay in school, succeed and lead.
-”Pathways”, a short documentary highlighting the power of education to end child marriage, focusing on the true stories of girls and young women in rural Zambia, is available for screening at public events to raise awareness and funds.