More than 34% of girls are married before their 18th birthday every year in Uganda, and 1 in 10 is married before turning 15. Child rights organizations working within the Girls Not Brides Uganda National Partnership, warn that the rate of child marriage in the country is rising due to school closures, food insecurity, and economic uncertainty triggered by COVID-19.
Despite substantial progress over the last two decades, girls still have on average lower levels of educational attainment than boys at the secondary level in many countries. This is in part because many girls are married or have children before the age of 18, often before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers.
Educating girls, ending child marriage, and preventing early childbearing is essential for girls to have agency, not only as future wives and mothers, but also beyond those roles. It is also essential for countries to reach their full development potential.
Girls’ educational attainment, child marriage, and early childbearing are closely linked. Ending child marriage and early childbearing would improve girls’ educational attainment. Conversely, improving girls’ educational attainment would help reduce child marriage and early childbearing. In addition, low educational attainment, child marriage, and early childbearing affect girls’ life trajectories in many other ways.
Girls marrying or dropping out of school early are more likely to experience poor health, have more children over their lifetime, and earn less in adulthood. This makes it more likely that their household will live in poverty. Other risks include intimate partner violence and lack of decision-making ability within the household. Fundamentally, girls marrying, having children, or dropping out of school early are disempowered in ways that deprive them of their basic rights. This in turn affects their children. For example, children of young mothers often face higher risks of dying by age five, being malnourished, and doing poorly in school
- Mobilize resources to support education of orphan girl children in schools.
- Provide adolescent girls with Scholastic Materials and re-usable sanitary pads
- Mobilize resources to facilitate the reduction of child, early and forced marriages
- Supervise, monitor and evaluate programme interventions