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Normal is girls
denied equality.

But together, we can #DefyNormal and help end child marriage.

What is child marriage?

Child marriage, or early marriage, is any marriage where at least one of the parties is under 18 years of age. Forced marriages are marriages in which one and/or both parties have not personally expressed their full and free consent to the union.

Source: OHCHR

If nothing changes, by 2050, the number of women married as children could reach 1.2 billion.

Girls with no education are 3x as likely to marry by age 18 as those with a secondary or higher education.

Child marriage increases the risk of experiencing violence, abuse and forced sexual relations and pregnancy.

Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among 15 to 19-year-old girls globally.

6 Reasons child marriage still happens

Why education is a powerful weapon to end child marriage in Mozambique

Mozambique ranks 7th on the list of countries with the highest number of child marriages – nearly 50% of all girls are married before age 18.

And for Octavia, a program manager at Plan International Mozambique, this stat hits extremely close to home.

“I know exactly what these girls are going through,” she says. “I became pregnant myself when I was 15 years old. My family kicked me out and forced me to marry my boyfriend… All of this because I had not received any sex education – I didn’t know anything about periods or how children are conceived, and I got pregnant the first time we had sex.”

As the leader of Plan International’s Better Opportunities for Girls project, Octavia is working with youth groups to reduce child marriage by spreading awareness and increasing access to education in her community.

Read their story

What is Plan International doing

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Facilitating youth groups to educate children of their rights.

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Working through community groups and leaders to educate parents.

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Educating families about sexual and reproductive rights.

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Supporting girls' education and making it more accessible.

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Calling on governments to change or enforce laws.

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Running birth registration programs to ensure girls can prove their age.

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