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Full programme

Youth advocates

The Village

Call for posters!


Full meeting programme

We are delighted to share with you the 2018 Global Meeting programme. 

This programme outlines all of the fascinating sessions and workshops that will be running in parallel over the three days of the Global Meeting. With a diverse range of interactive sessions covering topics such as innovative advocacy approaches to implementing meaningful youth engagement, we know there will be something inspiring for everyone.


* French interpretation
** Spanish interpretation

Monday 25th June

9:00 - 10:30
Plenary: Opening session * ** Join us as we celebrate the opening of our 2nd Global Meeting and find out what’s in store for the next three days. Learn more about our exciting programme of sessions and look ahead to the opportunities the meeting presents for learning, sharing and building on progress to end child marriage.
11:00 - 12:30
Confronting the tensions between protection and empowerment: The age of marriage vs. age of sexual consent * ** As governments have moved to end child marriage, some have also increased the age at which girls may consent to sex – which can present challenges to girls’ autonomy and to building a more gender-equitable and rights-based world. In this session, participants will be challenged to clarify their own beliefs and values around sex and marriage, while hearing compelling arguments from advocates on both sides of the issue.
This time for Africa: Sustaining the continental momentum in addressing child marriage * Africa has made significant strides in addressing child marriage. This session celebrates some of the gains that have been made across the continent, five years after the African Union launched its Campaign To End Child Marriage and provides space for discussion of how we can maintain the momentum.
Working with parliamentarians to end child marriage Parliamentarians are uniquely positioned to shape, advance and implement policies to address child marriage. They are the ones who develop laws and policies, pass budgets, monitor implementation and ensure accountability for both national and international commitments, including SDG 5.3. This session will provide practical recommendations for Girls Not Brides members on how best to engage with parliamentarians to end child marriage.
What is meaningful youth engagement? What do we mean by “meaningful youth engagement” in ending child marriage, and what does meaningful youth participation look like? Join us for a discussion about how we can meaningfully engage young people in our work, and leave with practical tools to help you integrate youth participation into your own programmes to end child marriage.
Child marriage and FGM: Success factors in community-led initiatives to change social norms around child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting * This session will explore the value of communities leading any intervention that aims to change social norms in order to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage. What does evidence say about the links between child marriage and FGM/C? Where might it make sense to address them together? What strategies work and why? Speakers will share lessons from several community-based programmes and national and global campaigns, and will invite participants to discuss opportunities to strengthen collaboration on these issues.
Increasing political and religious conservatism: The impact on tackling child marriage in South Asia Over the last decade, increasing religious and political conservatism has emerged as a serious threat to efforts to end child marriage in South Asia. This session will reflect members’ experiences of working in different countries across the region and present an opportunity to discuss the key challenges we face and the risks to our work on promoting gender justice.
Advocacy in a digital space: Using social media and other online tools Want to use social media to support your advocacy efforts but don’t know where to start? In this introduction to digital advocacy, we’ll discuss the best social media channels to use, see some examples of effective digital advocacy, and share our top tips for creating a buzz online.
14:00 - 15:30
Plenary: The role of multilateral organisations in ending child marriage * ** Multilateral organisations play a major role in ending child marriage around the world. However, as they often work directly with governments, it can be difficult for civil society to identify opportunities for collaboration. Join representatives of leading international organisations for a discussion about how we can work together to achieve our common vision.
16:00 - 17:30
The value and risks of criminalising child marriage: Building a common understanding ** Countries hoping to end child marriage often start by banning it, with criminal consequences for those involved. Criminalisation sends a strong signal that the practice is not accepted, but does it help change social practices? To what extent does a change in the law reach those who are supposed to enforce it? And what are some of the unintended consequences of a ban? Join us for an interactive session to build a shared understanding of the value and risks of criminalising child marriage.
Girls’ clubs, safe spaces and life-skills programmes: Learning from what works This session considers the effectiveness of girls’ clubs and safe spaces, highlighting their potential for addressing child marriage and empowering girls. Hear the latest evidence on life- and livelihoods-skills for girls, and leave with practical tips and tools for designing and delivering effective programmes.
Challenging taboos and social norms through edutainment: Examples from Malawi and Pakistan This session will highlight how education-entertainment (“edutainment”) is used to challenge social norms related to child marriage in two very different contexts – Malawi and Pakistan. We will share ways to engage young people and community leaders by using persuasive on-the-ground and virtual entertainment, education and mobilisation to change attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. We’ll also discuss the role of research in influencing programme design and evaluation.
The key to ending child marriage? Cross-sector collaboration Child marriage is an issue that cuts across multiple development sectors, and working across these sectors – including education, health and child protection – is key to solutions. Join representatives of other global partnerships to learn how their sectors are addressing child marriage, and how we can collaborate to achieve our shared development goals.y
Joining forces to gather evidence on child marriage in humanitarian settings in the Arab States This session will outline the current state of research and evidence on child marriage in the Arab States. Participants will be invited to reflect on gaps in data on child marriage in humanitarian settings and discuss why collaboration on evidence gathering is critical for informing policies and programming.
Building on the SADC Model Law to End Child Marriage in Southern Africa * When the SADC Model Law on child marriage was adopted two years ago, it became the first ever regional model law on child marriage. This session will help CSOs working in Southern Africa to develop a better understanding of the SADC Model Law, as well as drawing lessons for other regions in Africa and beyond.
Promoting sustainable change through our own self-reflection and transformation The practice of child marriage is often underpinned by shared beliefs on gender and sexuality held by entire communities. To effectively address the issue when working with project teams drawn from those very communities, it is critical to create space for self-reflection and dialogue for staff on the ideologies that are supporting the practice. Join this session to reflect on your own values, engage in a dialogue and deepen our collective understanding of how an inside-out approach is essential to achieving sustainable change.
Engaging men and boys in efforts to end child marriage Work to prevent child marriage and address gender norms tends to focus on girls and women, but to change social norms it’s also critically important to engage boys and men. Drawing on examples from India, Nepal and Uganda, this session will look at global evidence and best practice on male engagement, including practical tools and resources for working with men and boys.
17:45 - 19:15
Child marriage in Francophone Africa: Challenges and opportunities for Girls Not Brides members * Girls Not Brides members and National Partnerships from Francophone Africa are invited to learn from one another about the ways they have worked together to advocate for action in their respective countries. The discussion will reflect on our contributions to the regional and global movement to end child marriage, and how we can strengthen the existing solidarity among Francophone members. Government representatives from Francophone countries in Africa and donors with specific interest in these countries are also welcome.
Engaging faith leaders in ending child marriage Hear from faith leaders and civil society organisations from Afghanistan, Mozambique and Nepal as they share lessons from their collective work to end child marriage. Participants from other countries are warmly invited to join and share their own lessons to increase cross-country learning, share best practice, discuss common concerns and celebrate the diverse ways in which progress is being made.
Child marriage in Latin America ** This session offers a comparative overview of the practice of child marriage in over nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighting what makes the region distinctive as well as its similarities with other regions. Girls Not Brides members will present their experiences working in Latin America and compare and contrast them with efforts to end child marriage in the rest of the world.
Face to face: Practical advocacy skills for working with government * Do you want to persuade local government officials to take action on child marriage? Do you ever worry about what to say in a meeting with a Minister? Would you like to be able to explain to anyone – in under a minute – why ending child marriage is important? If so, this is the session for you. Join us for a fun and lively workshop in which you will develop practical advocacy and communication skills that you can take with you to your next meeting.
Survivor advocacy workshop: How to encourage, care for and involve survivors in advocacy Hear from survivors of child, early and forced marriage as they share their stories of how they became activists fighting against child marriage, and find out how best to involve survivors in advocacy efforts.
Lessons from the field: How do multi-component programmes address the drivers and consequences of early marriage? A growing body of evidence supports interventions that include multiple components to prevent and respond to child marriage. This session will look at several of these interventions, drawing on examples of programmes in South Asia and East and West Africa, and discuss the opportunities and challenges in scaling up and adapting programmes to other contexts.
Creative, participatory, art-influenced, girl-led approaches to ending child marriage This interactive and engaging session will introduce three different participatory, girl-led, and creative approaches to work with adolescent girls on complex issues such as child marriage. Through art and games, this session will introduce innovative and effective ways to address child marriage and sexual health, including how photography can be used as a participatory evaluation method led by adolescent girls.
A force to be reckoned with: How Girls Not Brides National Partnerships are taking collective action to end child marriage*, ** What does effective collective action look like, and how can it help sustain progress in ending child marriage? Girls Not Brides National Partnerships share their strategies for change, highlighting the value of joining forces to address complex issues such as child marriage. Whether you are a Girls Not Brides member interested in forming a coalition, an existing coalition keen to learn from others, or a youth network that wants to strengthen relationships with civil society, find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to collective action.


Tuesday 26th June


9:00 - 10:30
Plenary: More than just money - donor countries and private foundations' work in ending child marriage * ** We can’t end child marriage without resources – but large donors do more than just give funds. How are donor countries and private foundations working to end child marriage? In what ways do they work with civil society? Put your questions to a panel of the biggest government and foundation funders for child marriage and find out what the future of funding looks like.
11:00 - 12:30
Teenage pregnancy as a driver of early union/marriage, and the role of SRH services ** As teenage pregnancy is a key driver of child marriage, providing youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services is essential for reducing child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. This session will showcase innovative approaches to empowering adolescent girls and reducing pregnancy, as well as removing the barriers girls often face when trying to access essential sexual and reproductive health services.
Using the law to end impunity for child marriage * How can civil society use legal frameworks and the SDGs to hold governments accountable to their legal and policy commitments on child marriage? Drawing on examples from South Asia and Africa, this session will look at effective strategies for enacting and enforcing laws on the minimum age of marriage. It will explore opportunities to address legal loopholes related to child marriage and to advocate for reforms of other laws which discriminate against women and girls.
Moving from age to agency: redefining success and measuring change What does success look like when it comes to ending child marriage? Is it solely about age at marriage, or is it about the extent to which girls are empowered to resist the conservative social norms and patriarchal structures that fuel the practice? This session will explore different approaches to assessing and evaluating the changes we seek in girls’ lives, as well as in the world around them.
Finding and minding the gaps in research on child marriage * Learn more about advances in global research on issues related to adolescent girls sexual and reproductive health and rights, and child marriage, and find out what gaps still remain. In this session we’ll discuss how to fill the gaps while ensuring evidence is useful for policy makers and programmers working to end child marriage.
Making public finances work: Costing and budgeting to end child marriage Costed national strategies and action plans are a strong sign of a government’s commitment to ending child marriage. Drawing on examples from Bangladesh, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia, this session shares lessons from concrete costing and analyses of budget allocations to support advocacy efforts. We will also explore the role of civil society organisations in supporting the costing and budgeting processes.
Addressing child marriage at scale – how CSOs have worked with governments * Large-scale action to end child marriage requires government leadership and commitment. Yet civil society has played – and will continue to play – a critical role in informing the kinds of programmes and campaigns needed to make actual progress. Cooperation between the two is key. Using examples of civil society and government cooperation to end child marriage at scale, this session offers a chance to discuss challenges and lessons learned.
Addressing child marriage in East Africa: Successes, challenges and opportunities for progress This session will explore child marriage in East Africa, and provide a space for exchange, learning and strategising between Girls Not Brides members and partners working in the region. It will unpack the multitude of strategies to address child marriage in the region, sharing successes and lessons learned.
Toolbox session: Inspire me! Pick-and-mix inspiration from a range of practical tools and approaches used by Girls Not Brides members from around the world. From a fundraising toolkit to a tool to measure the quality of services for girls and even a board game, hear a five-minute pitch on each approach and be inspired to find out more.
14:00 - 15:30
Open Space Have something to share? Bring your ideas, experiences and burning questions to this open space. This is your opportunity to lead the conversation and have the discussions you want to have.
16:00 - 17:30
Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Promoting gender equality, empowering young people and ending gender based violence * ** Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) increases girls’ awareness of their bodies, rights and capabilities, and is also crucial for boys, improving understanding of sexual health, relationships and gender equality. By delivering CSE that begins early, includes both girls and boys and emphasises skills building, the education sector can play a critical role in addressing inequality. In this session, UNESCO and partners will introduce revised international technical guidance on CSE and highlight how it addresses child marriage.
Lessons learned from research on implementing multi-sectoral policies and programmes at the sub-national level * Girls Not Brides and the World Health Organisation have commissioned research into the multi-sectoral implementation of policies and programmes at the sub-national level. In this interactive session we will journey through the lessons learned from the research and what they mean for our work to address child marriage.
Community-led approaches to ending child marriage in West, Eastern and Southern Africa: Traditional leaders as key actors for change Engaging community leaders is essential for effective and lasting change. Drawing on lessons from Plan International's 18+: Ending Child Marriage in Eastern and Southern Africa programme and the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, this session explores effective strategies for working with traditional leaders to end child marriage at the community-level.
Research world cafe Learn about the latest research on child, early and forced marriage from research institutes around the world.
Changing social norms around child marriage: Tools and approaches for designing social norms programmes Changing social norms is central to our work in ending child marriage, but social norm change can be difficult to evaluate and quantify. In this session we will share useful tools and methodologies to help you design, implement and monitor your work on social norms change.
What journalists want: An introduction to working with the media Want to get your story in the media but don’t know where to start? Learn how to tell compelling stories, understand what journalists and editors are looking for and leave with some top tips for turning your story into tomorrow’s headline.
Harnessing the power of data and evidence to advocate for change In this hands-on workshop you’ll learn and practise the key steps to using data for effective advocacy. Using examples from projects by Save the Children, the UCLA WORLD Policy Analysis Center and Equal Measures 2030, find out how to identify relevant data sources and gaps, analyse datasets and present data effectively to influence different audiences.
The dynamics of child marriage in humanitarian settings: Findings from Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and South Sudan Why and how does child marriage happen in different humanitarian settings? This session shares lessons about the extent and shape of the problem, and reflects on how to use research to foster multi-sectoral approaches to address child marriage in humanitarian contexts.


Wednesday 27th June


9:00 - 10:30
Developing a holistic support package for married girls * ** Married teenage girls often find themselves stuck in a grey area when it comes to accessing essential health, education, and social services – they are not legally adults, but, as they are married, they are no longer considered children. They also face difficulties when they try to leave a marriage before turning 18. This session will attempt to answer what a holistic support package for married girls should look like, and how it can be achieved.
How mass media can help us end child marriage * With examples from India, Nepal, and several African countries, join us for a participatory discussion about how we can use mass media to change social norms around child marriage and gender equality.
#YouthDeliver: Youth leading the fight to end child marriage * Bringing together passionate young leaders from youth-led organisations working to end child marriage around the world, this session celebrates successful youth-led approaches and highlights the importance of youth leadership in the movement to end child marriage.
Modern slavery and child labour: Entry points for addressing child marriage The growing global momentum on campaigns to end child labour and slavery offers a compelling opportunity to highlight links with gender inequality and child marriage, but comes with risks as well. This session will explore these links, and encourage conversation on the risks and opportunities of looking at child marriage through the prism of child labour and slavery.
Turning challenges into opportunities: The role of religious leaders in efforts to end child marriage* This session will explore the early findings of research which aims to support members who are facing challenges in engaging religious leaders in their efforts to end child marriage. Find out more about strategies used by others, share your own experience and give us your feedback on the early findings of this research.
What does gender transformative sexuality programming look like and why does it matter? Promoting girls' autonomous decision making around their sexual and reproductive health and marriage choices demands that we question the social construction of sexuality. This session will explore gender transformative sexuality programming through findings and case studies.
11:00 - 12:30
Effective advocacy to end child marriage: Leveraging global and regional action to create change at the national level * Advocacy to end child marriage happens at the national, regional and global levels. This session gives us a chance to consider where our work fits in to the bigger picture: How might working more closely together increase our impact? How do we ensure that work at the global, regional and national levels is better grounded in the realities of the communities where child marriage is taking place?
From commitment to action: Ending child marriage in West and Central Africa * As a region, West and Central Africa has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, yet political commitment and action on the issue remain disproportionately low. Building on the 2017 high-level meeting on child marriage in the region, this session will explore the ways in which key actors, especially civil society organisations, can tackle the region’s challenges and progress toward meaningful change.
Changing social norms around child marriage: What will it take and how are we doing? ** What does it take to change a norm? This session will explore some of the biggest questions facing our field. Join us for a discussion to explore research findings, what needs to be done to change social norms on a large scale, and implications for design of programmes and advocacy campaigns.
At what cost? Making the economic case for ending child marriage Government inaction on child marriage is usually blamed on one thing: money. But what is the cost of not investing in girls? To answer this question, ICRW and the World Bank conducted research into how much child marriage is costing the global economy. Join us to learn more about their findings and how you can use the research in your own advocacy on child marriage. Although we recommend that members from the same country or National Partnership attend together to get the most out of this workshop, this session will be of interest to anyone who wants to make the economic case for ending child marriage.
Strategic litigation for addressing child marriage: A practical perspective This practical workshop will provide guidance on how to conduct strategic litigation to address child marriage and related issues. Aimed both at members who are interested in strategic litigation and those who are already conducting it, this session will look at practical tools and strategies as well as encouraging participants to share their own experiences.
Funding for community projects: Top tips and tricks for securing your next funding win * In a competitive funding landscape, what sets one organisation above the rest? Hear from donors that provide grants, crowdfunding opportunities and awards of under $50,000 for work to end child marriage. From practical fundraising tips to deeper discussions with donors, find out how to secure your next funding win.
Nothing for us, without us: Young activists call for a better future * Young people are critical advocates for change and partners in the movement to end child marriage. Come and be inspired as we are led on a journey by Girls Not Brides youth activists, who will share their solutions for ending child marriage and achieving a better future for all.
14:00 - 13:30
Tackling child marriage in South East Asia: Challenges and opportunities How does child marriage happen in South East Asia, and what makes the region distinctive? Drawing on evidence from Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere in South East Asia, this session will examine the particular issues faced by interventions to end child marriage in this region, as well as proven strategies and solutions.
Moving beyond what works: Translating evidence into policies and programmes for girls ** Going beyond the usual discussion of “what works and what doesn’t” in approaches to ending child marriage, this session considers other types of evidence generated through programme implementation which can be used to improve the design, implementation and scale-up of child marriage interventions so that they’re not only more effective in preventing child marriage, but also more cost-effective.
The case for space: Defending fundamental freedoms of movement and association* Open civic space is essential for ending violence against women and girls, but attempts to restrict freedom of expression and association for advocates of girls’ and women’s rights are increasing globally. What does this closing civic space mean for collective action and our work as a global partnership? Hear from Girls Not Brides members who have found their freedom of expression increasingly restricted, and understand how other organisations are navigating their way through a shrinking civic space.
Learning from failure in our efforts to end child marriage To make progress towards ending child marriage, learning from our failures is as important as celebrating our successes. Whether it’s a failed partnership or programme dropout, community resistance or staff burn-out – share your failures and learn from others in this open and reflective session.
Do too many cooks spoil the broth? Multi-stakeholder collaboration in action Join speakers from government, civil society, donors and the UN for this session on best practice in multi-sectoral engagement to end child marriage. We will discuss the challenges of multi-sectoral collaboration and share examples of how collaboration has achieved large-scale change.
A silver bullet? How education can end child marriage * How can education transform the harmful gender and social norms that perpetuate child marriage? In this session we’ll learn about programme models, strategies and policies in education that have challenged, discouraged and disrupted child marriage at a system and community level.
16:00 - 17:30
Plenary: Closing session * ** As our 2nd Global Meeting draws to a close, join us as we celebrate our successes, share ideas and inspiration and outline a vision for the future of the movement.


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Youth advocates at the Global Meeting

About the youth programme

Girls Not Brides will hold a dedicated youth meeting on 24 June before the Global Meeting. It will bring together a selected group of passionate young activists aged between 18 to 24 years to discuss plans for addressing child marriage. 

This will be part of a wider youth programme, including:

  • Working with youth before the meeting to prepare youth-led sessions
  • Networking with key influencers and experts working on child marriage
  • Strategising on how to increase young people's impacts and influence in our Global Partnership's work.

Why young people?


With 1.8 billion young people worldwide, we have the largest youth generation in history.

We won't solve child marriage without them.

That is why we want to make sure young people have a strong voice at the meeting!

How will young people benefit?

The Global Meeting will be an opportunity for young people to: 

  • Showcase the strong work they are doing to end child marriage
  • Connect with other young advocates from different countries, and with influential stakeholders such as policy makers and donors
  • Make sure young people's contributions are heard and acted on during and beyond the meeting.

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The Village

The Village is a vibrant and inspiring space for attendees to come together.

The Village features:

  • Two meeting areas (suitable for informal sessions, performances and talks)
  • A digital hub (an interactive space for engaging with the digital side of the Global Meeting)
  •  A world café area (for networking and discussions with other attendees)
  • A space where Girls Not Brides members and other participants can showcase posters
  •  A resource centre
  •  A relaxing area
  •  Some exciting interactive elements. More details to follow soon!



Showcase your posters at the Global Meeting!

Girls Not Brides is hosting posters at the Global Meeting 2018 in its central conference location, The Village. Everyone attending is warmly encouraged prepare a poster. Posters are a great way to showcase a project or your organisation’s work and should present information in a concise and visual manner.

You can submit a poster in English or French. See design requirements.

Why should I prepare a poster?

Posters offer the opportunity to engage with other attendees interested in the same questions and topics as yourself or your organisation. You might start a conversation with someone about your poster that may lead to future collaboration, who knows?

Is there a theme?

Posters must focus on one or more of the following themes:

● Youth-led efforts to end child marriage

● Showcasing examples of gender-transformative child marriage work (programming or advocacy)

● Bringing our work to scale to reach the many, rather than the few

● Multi-stakeholder/multi-sectoral partnerships to end child marriage

Can I present my poster?

Yes, we’d love to hear you speak about it! Send us an email to with POSTER in the subject line if you’d like to make a short presentation and we will set a time for you during lunch breaks or in the evening. This is a great way to disseminate your work, actively engage with others and get immediate feedback.

How will it work?

Approximately 60 spaces are available for posters, and a rotation system will be set up if this initial number is exceeded.

Download : Design requirements & Important information