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Compared to the previous generation, the incidence of child marriage worldwide has declined. However, strides forward have suffered from substantial limitations. At the global level, child marriage is still too widespread, and progress too slow, to meet the SDG target in 2030. At the regional level, some areas have achieved remarkable progress, while others are lagging behind. Worryingly, in the majority of cases, progress over the past decade (2010-2020) has not matched advancements achieved in the decade prior (2000-2010). At the country level, inclusive progress hasn’t always materialized: in a number of countries, gaps are widening not only between wealth groups, but also on the basis of residence. In a nutshell, progress has been unevenly distributed not only across time, but also across geographies, with stark divides both among and within countries. COVID-19 is expected to have a damaging impact on child protection, including according to Save the Children’s own projections. Urgent efforts are needed to guarantee girls’ rights and prevent devastating setbacks. In the longer term, more research is needed to understand what drives child marriage, so as to tackle it more effectively in different regions.
This report was prompted by an internal request for an assessment
of the changing external environment, and its impact on children,
to inform the preparation of UNICEF’s next Strategic Plan. It was
produced collectively by staff from UNICEF's Global Insight team
and reflects their views and perspectives. The report benefited from
feedback from various UNICEF staff. In addition, its initial findings
were presented and debated at a virtual consultation held with 32
youth experts, leaders, and activists from around the world on January
8th 2021. We are especially grateful to participants of the consultation,
some of whose views are presented throughout this report.
Emilia Cucagna; Javier Romero
Somayyeh Naghizadeh; Mojgan Mirghafourvand; Roghaye Mohammadirad
Carmen H. Logie; Moses Okumu; Maya Latif (et al.)
Eiji Yamamura; Yoshiro Tsustsui
Mathias Huebener; Sevrin Waights; C. Katharina Spiess (et al.)
Gema Zamarro; María J. Prados
Halil Uzun; Nezahat Hamiden Karaca; Şermin Metin
COVID-19 is creating a girls’ education crisis in Ethiopia, threatening to reverse the country’s recent progress towards gender equality in education. Over the last two decades, the Ethiopian government has expanded its education system and made important gains for girls at the primary and secondary levels. The net enrolment rate in elementary school increased from 29% in 1989 to 86% in 2017. The same year the Gender Parity Index also reached 0.90 at the primary level and 0.87 at the secondary level. However, harmful traditional practices, social norms and poverty continue to prevent girls from completing their education, resulting in high dropout rates at the secondary level.
Jessie Pinchoff; K. G. Santhya; Corinne White (et al.)
Richard J. Petts; Daniel L. Carlson; Joanna R. Pepin
Meghan Bellerose; Maryama Diaw; Jessie Pinchof (et al.)
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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