Save the Children launches Global Girlhood Report
Save the Children and Tufts University commissioned the Global Girlhood Report 2022: Girls on the Frontline, which was released today. The government policymakers, child advocates, civil society organizations, including grassroots feminist and women’s rights organizations, humanitarian responders, and advocates for gender equality in the private sector, are all provided with evidence in this report.
In spite of pledges made by international leaders, child marriage still occurs everywhere and girls are at the centre of the most critical global concerns. Prior to COVID-19, global estimates of the rate of child marriage were declining, but progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal deadline of ending child marriage by 2030 was still far from being made. 2 Around 20,000 girls were thought to get married yearly.
Global Girlhood Report
India@100 cannot reach its full potential unless we secure 100% of its children, and especially the girl child today, according to Mr. Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Save the Children, also known as Bal Raksha Bharat. A story in and of itself, India at 75 has a huge percentage of its girls who are unable to fairly safeguard themselves with their basic rights! With the release of this report, we want to reaffirm our dedication to contributing to the solution. The study offers a path forward for all of us along with a number of concrete actions, but more importantly, it emphasizes the need to involve the agency of children—the main stakeholders—in order to change the strategy from one of preparing for them to one of planning with them.
Governments and advocates for girls’ rights and gender equality came to an agreement 10 years ago to set aside one day annually to recognize the accomplishments of girls and draw attention to the difficulties they encounter. This resulted in the founding of International Day of the Girl, which will mark its tenth anniversary in 2022 and is observed on October 11th worldwide. Child marriage was the focus of the first International Day of the Girl, a problem that is especially important to girls and can only be avoided in early life.
The following are the report’s main conclusions:
Increasing poverty and food shortages increase the risk of child marriage for nearly 90 million (89.2M) adolescent girls. They also expose them to other types of gender-based violence, increase their chance of becoming pregnant unintentionally, and cause the breakdown of systems that are supposed to protect them.
Girls in East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia are more likely to experience child marriage as a result of conflict.
Girls living in conflict-free areas and those in sub-Saharan Africa (or West and Central Africa) had the same levels of danger, according to our research.
Millions of girls live in poverty in these locations, which have the highest rates of child marriage in the world.
In order to properly address these issues and understand their effects on child marriage, more study is critically needed.
However, according to the WINGS 2022 study, the prevalence of child marriage in India has decreased from 74% in 1970 to 27% in 2015. The number of girls being married before turning 18 has decreased in absolute terms as well, from 12.3 million in 1992–1993 to 10.7 million in 2015–16.
The progress made in preventing child marriage might be undone: In recent years, both the rate and the overall incidence of child marriage in India have significantly decreased.
The Child marriage is less common now than it was in 1970 (74% vs
a) As a result of the epidemic, job losses and decreased household incomes have increased the possibility of child marriages.
b) One in seven moms (14%) said that the pandemic had made girls more likely to marry young.
c) Females are more likely than boys to get married young, according to 52.4% of mothers, who believe that COVID-19 increases the likelihood that girls rather than boys will marry young.
d) The problem of child marriage is not widely known. 10% of mothers think that getting married should be done before the age of 18 years old.
Taking Care of Child Marriage
With the help of several committees created at the ward/village and gramme panchayat level, such as the Child Protection Committee (CPC), Village Health, Sanitation, and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC), and others, develop community-based monitoring systems to prevent child marriages. These committees should work together to perform a census of young people, especially young women, and to safeguard them from becoming potential brides or victims of human trafficking.
Invest in enhancing the agency of girls and women: It’s important to empower girls and women so they can make informed decisions about their lives. Organizations from the civil society might be crucial in achieving the same goals. Supporting monthly gatherings of adolescent girls and pleading with the government for better services and functioning child safety systems would be necessary to achieve this.