Inaction is not an option
The figures are disconcerting; inaction is not an option.
Child marriage affects nearly 70 million girls in the world; in developing countries, one in three girls marry before the age of 18; 7.3 million teenagers become pregnant every year, and complications from pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death among girls aged 15-19; between 100 and 140 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation/ cutting, with 3 million girls at risk every year.
Sadly, due to the conflation of several factors, international condemnation of such violations have failed to completely arrest these harmful practices.
Moving forward through evidence-based research and awareness raising
The alliance—a partnership comprising of Plan Nederland, Rutgers, Amref Flying Doctors, Choice for Youth and Sexuality, and the Royal Tropical Institute—maintains that deeply rooted gender inequalities and social norms must be transformed for girls to enjoy their full freedoms. With partners, alliance members have committed themselves to a five-year initiative, commencing in 2016, and concluding in 2020.
Funded by the SRHR policy framework of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and coordinated by Plan Nederland, the alliance operates in seven countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Pakistan and Indonesia. The alliance's research and awareness-raising activities are guided by five complementary pathways of change. All together, these pathways are expected to reduce child marriages, female genital mutilation, and teenage pregnancies.
In brief, Yes I Do's five pathways of change seek to advance: a) behavioural change of community and “gate keepers”; b) meaningful engagement of adolescent girls and boys in claiming for their SRHR, and c) taking informed action on their sexual health; d) alternatives to the practice of child marriages, female genital mutilation, and teenage pregnancies through education and economic empowerment; and e) responsibility and political will of policy makers and duty bearers to develop and implement laws toward the eradication of these practices.
Main Role Rutgers
Rutgers will play a main role in promoting engagement of boys and (young) men for gender transformative approaches, as well as the design of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) modules that address Child Marriage (CM), Teenage Pregnancies (TP) and Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting FGM / C. Furthermore we will play a role in lobby and advocacy.
Visit the Plan Nederland website for more information.