Today in London, the UK government and UNICEF hosted Girl Summit 2014 to rally global efforts to end child, early, and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) within a generation. Council experts Annabel Erulkar and Karen Austrian presented findings from Council research and programs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia.
At the summit, governments, donors, and NGOs committed to prioritizing the eradication of these practices in the post-2015 development agenda. The Population Council made the following commitment:
The Population Council commits to identifying and articulating new, effective approaches to preventing child marriage, FGM, and other forms of gender-based violence. We dedicate ourselves to conducting rigorous research to generate the high-quality evidence needed to shape strategies that are cost-effective and powerful. The Council commits to working to ensure the effective use of our evidence by decision makers in governments and civil society organizations to improve policies and programs. We are dedicated to helping girls, families, and communities to abandon the practices of child marriage and FGM and to adopt values, norms, and practices that promote girls’ health, safety, and wellbeing. The Population Council will conduct research in at least seven countries, involving at least 50,000 girls by 2016 to support this commitment.
Learn more about our work to end child marriage and FGM:
- Annabel Erulkar, the Council’s country director in Ethiopia, commented on ending child marriage in a blog post on The Guardian’s Global Development Professionals Network.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, the Council is developing and evaluating cost-effective, sustainable approaches to delaying marriage in child marriage “hotspots.”
- Council researchers are implementing and evaluating a program for vulnerable adolescent girls in Zambia to help them avoid early marriage; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; and unintended pregnancy. On July 9th, Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for International Development, visited with girls participating in the program.
- Council research has contributed to the global evidence base on FGM and influenced policies and programs to stop it.