Reducing early marriage in Niger

One of the projects funded by Zonta International during the 2014-2016 biennium is Respecting the Rights and Responding to the Needs of Adolescent Girls in Niger. The goal of this project is to reduce early marriage and early pregnancy in a critical mass of communities in four regions of Niger. The project is being supported by Zonta’s  Strategies to End Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) Fund in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund. Zonta International is contributing $US1 million.

Niger has the highest child marriage prevalence in the world with 75% of girls married by age 18 and 36% by age 15. High proportions of school age girls are not in school and a majority of married girls have been pregnant or have had children by the age of 19.

The project also involves advocacy at a national level with ministers and the Parliament to raise age of marriage to 18, along with advocacy for the enforcement of laws.

Zontians throughout the world contribute funds to the Zonta International Foundation, the charitable arm of Zonta International, in order to support international programs aimed at improving the lives of women. Read more about Zonta’s international programs here.