June 12, 2016
Written by Plan International
This post originally appeared on Plan International’s website. Reposted with permission.
Plan International works to prevent child marriages by implementing various programs in Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Through the creation of children’s groups, girls learn about their rights and the negative aspects of marrying early. Working with communities, families, village chiefs, and governments, Plan highlights the value of educating girls instead of forcing them into early marriage.
In sub-Saharan Africa, around 7 million girls live as child brides. The causes of child marriage are common across Africa. Parents marry of their daughters due to poverty or out of fear for their safety. Tradition and the stigma of straying from cultural practices perpetuate child marriage in many communities. Gender inequality and the low value placed on girls underlie the practice.