Empowering Girls: Strategies to Combat Child Marriage and Promote Education

Published on March 27, 2024

1 out of every 3 child brides in the world live in India (UNICEF 2014)

This means millions of girls are losing the chance to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. And it’s not just the girls who suffer—millions of families are missing out on the untapped potential their daughters hold.

This is the reality we face today.

But amidst this harsh reality, there lies hope - the transformative power of education. Let's take a moment to envision the impact of girls receiving education, pursuing careers, and fulfilling their potential:

Economic Impact - Increase in income potential of the girls leads to a chance to break the cycle of poverty for the families, thereby contributing to the nation's productivity.

 Health Impact - Educated girls lead to healthier families, with improved nutrition and reduced rates of infant and maternal mortality.

Societal Impact - Empowered girls are better equipped to make informed decisions, participate in the workforce, and lead better-quality lives.

Multiplier impact: Educated mothers prioritize their children's education, creating a ripple effect that leads to more women joining the workforce and contributing to societal progress.

This is the reality we envision for our girls - a reality where every girl has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to a brighter future for all.

CRY is tirelessly combating the issue of child marriage and striving to provide more girls with the opportunities they deserve. Here are some of the ways we're making a difference:

Working with the Ecosystem: Engaging not just the girls themselves but also their families, communities, local leaders, and government institutions - to ensure that girls stay in school and complete their education.

Strengthening Village-Level Committees: By strengthening committees such as Village Level Child Protection Committees (VLCPCs) and School Management Committees, and implementing life skills education programs, we empower adolescents to break the cycle of child labour and marriage, helping them navigate life's challenges and pursue their aspirations. 

Ensuring re-enrolment: For girls who have dropped out of school due to various pressures, including the threat of child marriage, it's essential to ensure their re-enrollment. 

Financial support to families: By connecting parents to jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), to address the economic hardships faced and incentivize keeping girls in school.

Peer Support: Peer support and mentoring programs play a huge role in empowering girls and developing a supportive environment. Through initiatives like adolescent collectives, girls have access to guidance, encouragement, and role models.

We can together help make this envisioned world a reality for girls. Time and again we are reminded that when girls are given the right opportunities, they have the potential to change the world. Take Asha, for example—a living testament to the transformative impact of education. 

“I used to be a part of CRY’s children’s collective in my village, the experience inspired me to stand up for my dreams. My parents wanted me to get married at an early age but I wanted to study, so with CRY’s help, I continued schooling. I wanted to join the Police force, and today I’ve successfully done it - I’m the first woman Police Officer of my village here in Latur. Everyone has the right to be successful in life, don't let anyone stand in your way" - Asha, CRY Project, Maharashtra 

Just like Asha, let's continue to create opportunities for more girls to thrive and fulfill their potential. Join us in the fight against child marriage.