Zonta has supported ending child marriage since 2014, contributing US$2 million to delay early marriage in Niger from 2014-2018. From 2018-2022, Zonta contributed US$3.5 million to the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage – the first private-sector donor to the Global Programme.
Yesterday, on International Day of the Girl, the Biden Administration announced the U.S. Government would join the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage and outlined financial commitments to support efforts to address child, early and forced marriage globally. Zonta International is the first and only private-sector donor to the Global Programme.
USAID will invest $42 million, and the Department of State will provide $2.45 million to prevent and respond to child, early, and forced marriage globally. These programs will focus on equipping girls and young women with education and workforce readiness skills; mitigating harmful effects of child marriage through education, health, legal, and economic support; and raising awareness of the risks and harms associated with child marriage. In addition, for the first time, the United States will contribute to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)–United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Global Programme to End Child Marriage, which works in 12 countries in Africa and South Asia to promote the rights of adolescent girls.
You can find this and more information here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/10/11/fact-sheet-white-house-celebrates-international-day-of-the-girl-and-announces-new-actions-to-support-youth-in-the-u-s-and-abroad/. In advocating for child marriage at the state level, we can now reference the U.S. Government’s support for ending child marriage globally.
Zonta and UNICEF Partners since 1972
Zonta, committed to supporting programming measures aimed at reducing the number of child brides, supports the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Program to End Child Marriage in 12 countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.
Through the joint UNFPA-UNICEF initiative, Zonta is helping UNICEF:
- enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes among marginalized adolescent girls on matters such as their rights, relationships, sexual and reproductive health, and financial literacy, including in humanitarian contexts
- increase knowledge and awareness among adolescent boys, families, traditional and religious leaders, community groups, and other influencers to ensure more gender-equitable attitudes and support for girls’ rights
- increase capacity of education, health, child protection, and gender-based violence (GBV) systems to deliver coordinated, quality programs and services that meet the needs of adolescent girls and their families, including in humanitarian contexts
- increase the capacities of national and sub-national social protection, poverty reduction, and economic empowerment programs and services to respond to the needs of the poorest adolescent girls and their families, including in humanitarian contexts
- enhance government capacities to coordinate and implement action plans and systems needed to prevent child marriage
- increase the capacities of governments and non-government organizations to generate, disseminate and use quality and timely evidence to inform policy and program design, track progress, and document lessons