UN Millennium Development Goals
Ending child marriage is closely related to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Every Woman Every Child initiative and to efforts to reach Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 3, 4 and 5 to promote gender equality, to reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health.
The continued occurrence of child marriage has hindered the achievement of these MDGs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
"I urge governments, community and religious leaders, civil society, the private sector, and familiesespecially men and boysto do their part to let girls be girls, not brides," says the Secretary-General.
Ending child marriage would also help countries achieve other MDGs aimed at eradicating poverty, achieving universal education and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and should also figure within a renewed development agenda.
"The needs of adolescent girls were overlooked in the Millennium Development Goals; they must have a central place in any new goals set by the international community," said Lakshmi Sundaram, Global Coordinator of Girls Not Brides. "By using the rate of child marriage as an indicator to monitor progress against new goals, we can make sure that governments address the practice and focus on ensuring the welfare of their girls."
Strategies for ending child marriage recommended to the Commission on the Status of Women include:
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Hoffman & Hoffman Worldwide