Education and Child Marriage amidst COVID-19

SDG-Focus

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SDG 5: Gender Equality

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GLC Members

Yasmin Dodgson
Alpha Habib Bangura
Kughong Chia
Mokhinur Bosakova

Lack of education is a major push to child marriage especially in rural communities.
Our educational campaigns will foster the promotion of brave and safe spaces and empower women and girls to be able to use their voice and skills to add value to their communities and empower other girls and women.
With these actions taken it will reduce the rate of early marriages which in turn will keep girls in school enabling them to contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities.

Education and Child Marriage amidst COVID-19

Challenge:
Lack of education is a major push to child marriage especially in rural communities of LMICs, with children not going to school being about 3 times more likely to get married early.
The longer schools remain closed due to COVID-19 measures, girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys and not return due teenage pregnancies, which has drastically increased since the lockdown and most of these pregnant girls face criticism from parents and teachers forcing them to abandon school.
The economic hardship on families caused by the pandemic has predisposed about 10million girls to child marriage worldwide.

Ensuring girls' access to quality education:
- providing free school supplies (so, less burden on parents),
- providing a transportation to school (bicycle for girls, so it's safer for them to commit to schools),
- vocational trainings (to equip them with new practical skills for further employment or work from home due to COVID-19)
- Conduct information and educational campaigns through local communities, churches or mosques among residents of remote regions on the consequences of early marriage to young girls (physical, psychological, economic)
- Working with community based organisations to carry out community assessment

Impact
Through the implementation of our actions/activities, we’d have informed communities in developing countries where women and girls are treated as key stakeholders in policy making using their influence and domain to advocate for the rights and privileges of women and girls.
Our educational campaigns will foster the promotion of brave and safe spaces and empower women and girls to be able to use their voice and skills to add value to their communities and empower other girls and women.
With these actions taken it will reduce the rate of early marriages which in turn will keep girls in school enabling them to contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities.

Responsible Leadership
This project demonstrates responsible leadership in the following ways:
1. Changing the norm - with our actions taken we want to keep young girls in education and reduce the rate of early marriages. Our key aim over time is to change the norms and the way girls and women contribute to their society.
2. Joy in seeing others grow - One key component of responsible leadership is making the growth of others a key component of your leadership aims. With our initiative, not only do we want to help keep young girls out of early marriage, we also want to help them get a quality education. We believe that not only will this help the girls, but it will also help the boys and the later women, men and entire community.
3. Leading with empathy and compassion - We pledge to lead with compassion and empathy when talking with the different stakeholders. We understand that for example parents may see marriage as a safe-haven for young girls and we will have to demonstrate how we believe to have found a feasible alternative that may even help their children more in a compassionate and empathetic way. In certain communities young marriages have been practiced for generations and it is important that we listen to their needs and wants and understand that the topic may be sensitive to some. We aim to treat all stakeholders with understanding, even if their views may be contrary to ours.
4. Active listening to the communities and our stakeholders - (goes hand in hand with point three of leading with compassion and empathy). We understand that in certain communities child marriage has been practiced for generations - we think listening to the communities and there reasons for child marriage will be very important. We need to understand their deep needs. This way we can try to address any underlying concerns they may have. We understand that without having the community on board, we will never be able to create lasting change. For that reason active listening - and learning from the communities - will be a key component of our leadership style.
5. Focus on positive impact - We want to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Not only that but we want to center our communication by focusing on the positive impact - articulating it, believing in it and living with a clear purpose and vision. Positive leaders deliberately define and live their values, strengths, and passions, and they understand that the same needs to be done at the organizational level.
6. Empowering others - we want to empower young girls and help them empower their entire communities. We truly believe that by preventing early marriages in girls, not only are we helping them but their future kids, the husbands and the community. A key component of responsible leadership also includes empowering your employees, letting them assume responsibility and empowering your employees to empower themselves. We want to focus on empowering others and letting them take ownership and commitment for decisions.

Education and Child Marriage amidst COVID-19