Design workshop held for the second phase of UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to end child marriage, in Rajasthan

23 February 2019

As part of the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a design workshop for phase II was conducted in Jaipur, Rajasthan from 18th-23rd February 2019. It witnessed the participation of 12 countries that have high prevalence of child marriage and included Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia along with India. 

As UNFPA reaches out to the most vulnerable women and girls who are at risk of child marriage, unwanted pregnancies and violence, the Rajasthan office, in collaboration with the state government, has launched missed call based, edutainment channel called Naubatbaja that aims to build a mass movement against child marriage.   

Child marriage is one of the many manifestations of deep rooted gender inequality and gender discrimination. In recent years India has experienced a decline in child marriage: from 47 percent women aged 20-24, married before age 18 years in 2005-06 to 27 percent women married before age 18 in 2015-16.   Yet in terms of absolute numbers, India is home to the largest number of child brides, accounting for one-third of the global distribution of child brides. 

Mr. Klaus Beck, Officer in Charge, India Country Office
at the workshop 

Emphasizing the significance of girls’ empowerment and programmes to address structural inequalities in addressing harmful practices like child marriage, Mr. Klaus Beck, Officer in Charge, India Country Office said at the workshop, “ Girls’ empowerment is not only a means for eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development, it is an important end in itself. Empowering women and girls is a matter of gender justice.”

The UNICEF and UNFPA joint programme has a 15 year strategy that works closely with the government and civil society to turn commitment into tangible action to end child marriage and transform the lives of adolescent girls, especially those aged 10-19 years. The learnings, lessons and experiences from phase I across the Global Programme countries is expected to inform the design of Phase II (2020-2023).