Girls Not Brides: Partnership to End Child Marriage, 2011

Commitment By The Elders, Ford Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Nike Foundation

In 2011, the Elders, Ford Foundation, Nike Foundation, and NoVo Foundation committed to jointly establish 'Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage' (Girls not Brides). Girls Not Brides is a member-driven partnership with a global focus. The partnership also committed to raise $3 million to ensure the functioning of the partnership, the creation of a secretariat, and to seed activities to end child marriage in priority countries. In addition, they committed to establish a network of donors to support programs to end child marriage worldwide.

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Commitment Summary




Asia, Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East

Commitment by: 

The Elders, Ford Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Nike Foundation

Est. Duration

2 years


Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Chad; Democratic Republic of Congo; Dominican Republic; Ethiopia; Eritrea; Guinea; Honduras; India; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Nepal; Nicaragua; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal


MacArthur Foundation
Open Society Institute


July 2013

Girls Not Brides has grown to a partnership of over 270 organisations working in over 50 countries worldwide, ranging from grass-roots organisations to large international NGOs. It is supported by a fully functional secretariat which facilitates, coordinates and supports the work of Girls Not Brides member organisations. The CGI commitment was to set up the partnership, which will continue to grow in the coming years. During the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Bill Clinton highlighted the progress made by Girls Not Brides, recognising that the growth of the partnership significantly exceeded the pledges made when it was launched.

Since its initiation, the partnership has focused on both raising awareness about the urgent need to address child marriage, and on supporting members in learning from each other's experiences and successes, including through convening two large regional meetings of members. Increased attention to the issue was particularly notable around the first International Day of the Girl Child (11 October 2012), which focused on child marriage. 

The partnership has also worked towards mobilising policy, financial and programme support to end child marriage and has seen a dramatic increase in international attention to the issue of child marriage since its initiation, with new commitments from long-standing supporters as well as new actors keen to join the growing global movement to end child marriage. For example, on the first International Day of the Girl Child, UNFPA committed $20 million to child marriage programming, and the Ford Foundation launched a 5 year $25 million commitment to work with NGOs, governments, local communities and other funders to build the political will necessary to end child marriage, to support new research to determine successful interventions, and to expand girls' access to resources and rights, including the right not to marry early. 

Child marriage has also received high-level recognition by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among others, and has been discussed at the UN, World Health Assembly, the Human Rights Council, G8 Foreign Ministers' meetings and the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2013, as well as in a number of national governments. The issue is also increasingly being mentioned in formal and informal debates about the post-2015 development framework. 

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