IDRC panel tackles early marriage at UN Status of Women forum

March 08, 2018
A girl, with boy in the background, at school in the Central African Republic.

Pierre Holtz/ UNICEF

IDRC-supported researchers will share their experiences with combatting child, early, and forced marriage at the parallel non-governmental organization (NGO) forum during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women’s (CSW) 62nd annual meeting in New York City.

More than 700 million girls are married before their eighteenth birthday. Child, early, and forced marriage is a critical barrier to women’s empowerment, particularly in rural areas. The practice can interrupt schooling, limit economic opportunities, and result in early pregnancy and increased risk of domestic violence.

On March 12, IDRC is hosting the panel, “What works to tackle early child marriage & empower rural women and girls?” In line with the Forum’s priority theme, “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls”, the panel will discuss experiences and findings from the following IDRC-supported research:

A representative from Pollisree, an Oxfam Canada partner organization from Bangladesh, will discuss advocacy efforts to change social norms that encourage child, early, and forced marriage.

NGO representatives from around the world gather at this NGO CSW meeting to discuss, network, share strategies, and lobby government policymakers to make the changes that will improve the lives of women and girls.

IDRC’s partner, the Women’s Learning Partnership, will also attend. The organization intends to strategize with leaders and experts at the forum on achieving gender equality and ending violence against women through reforms to family law. The partnership’s goal is to further develop a global advocacy campaign for reform of discriminatory legislation, based on IDRC-supported research.

The Adaptation at Scale in Semi-arid Regions consortium will also be present at the forum to share findings on climate change adaptation and gender. The consortium’s research is part of the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), a program supported by IDRC and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.