Our Challenges

Child Marriage

Child marriage is exactly that – when a child is married before age 18. In developing countries, 1 in 3 girls is married by the time she turns 18. That's 15 million per year, over 41,000 every day, nearly 1 girl every 2 seconds.

The practice of child marriage violates girls' human rights, limits their education, and harms their health. But despite being forbidden by international human rights laws and many national laws around the world, child marriage continues to rob millions of girls of their childhood especial here in North Easter Part, where the muslium pastoral girl is left defencesless against her cultural practise.

The facts on child marriage:

According to our survey report, A girl's right to say No To Marriage: Working to end child marriage and keep girls in school:

  • 1 in 3 girls in the developing world marry by the age of 18, and 1 in 9 marry before they reach the age of 15.
  • Girls with no education are 3 times more likely to marry before 18 than those with a secondary or higher level of education.
  • In the four regions of Kenya's North Eastern province where child marriage is most common – Garissa, Wajir, Fafi and Ijara – more than 60% of girls are married before their 16 birthday
  • Daughters of young, uneducated mothers are especially likely to drop out of school, marry young and fall into the cycle of poverty.

A vicious cycle

Many of these child marriages are considered forced because in most situations, girls do not give their free and full consent. But in many cultural contexts, early marriage of girls is standard practice. As a result, girls may appear to give consent to respect and obey the wishes of their families and their communities.

The consequences of early marriage go beyond the lives of young married girls themselves, ultimately affecting the next generation. This not only limits girls' own future prospects, but also their ability to contribute to their countries' broader social and economic goals. Children of young, uneducated mothers are less likely to have a good start to their education, do well in class, or continue beyond the minimum schooling. Even worse, the daughters of uneducated mothers are especially likely to drop out of school, marry young, and begin the cycle again.

Why child marriage?

Too often, the reason for child marriage is a combination of culture, poverty, gender inequality and a lack of adherence to children's rights. These issues, coupled with a lack of access to education and entrenched social norms, cause child marriage to carry on. But if nothing is done to stop current trends, over 140 thousand marginalized girls of North Eastern will be married as children by 2020.

Education will help stop child marriage!

We know that the best way to combat child marriage is to keep girls in school. It's proven that girls who receive a higher education are less likely to be married before age 18 than girls who are not in school. When a girl is educated, she will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn a higher income.

Send a Girl to school