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UNFPA Turkey continues to work for ending child marriage

Around the world, about one in five children is married. 9 out of every 10 children who got married at child age are girls. Child marriage is one of the most harmful practices against women and girls. Turkey, unfortunately, is one of the countries where child marriage is common. In Turkey, one in five women who are currently 20-49 years old, married under the age of 18. As UNFPA Turkey, we work with the public and private sector, academia, civil society, influencers and media shoulder to shoulder in order to end this harmful practice.

While the first phase of the “Ending Child Marriage Project '' implemented by UNFPA Turkey with the support of Sabancı Foundation came to end in 2019, the project continues with its second phase in 2021. Having comprised a wide range of activities from awareness-raising activities to efforts to establish a local prevention and response mechanisms to end child, early and forced marriages, the second phase of the project will be implemented in both Nevşehir and Van.  

The “Ending Child Marriage Project” which has been implemented with the support of Sabancı Foundation first started in 2018. In the scope of the project, carried out in Nevşehir selected as the pilot province, more than 1600 household visits were organized with health mediators including women who got married and had kids at early ages; approximately 350 people were reached through neighborhood meetings and family awareness-raising seminars and 47 service providers were delivered capacity development trainings on the impacts of child marriages. 

In addition to one-to-one awareness sessions made through household visits, the project also aimed to reach a wider population with visits to tradespeople. The project has also contributed to the realization of the objectives determined in Nevşehir Provincial Emergency Action Plan Against Child Marriages.

In the second phase of the project, agreed to continue by UNFPA Turkey and Sabancı Foundation to further increase the awareness level among the public and local authorities as well as transform this output into permanent social norm changes, the scope of the project has also extended with the addition of Van into project areas. In Van, the implementation of the project will be supported by Life Cooperative for Women, Environment, Culture and Enterprise (YAKA-KOOP).

With the support of new health mediators, new household and field visits, UNFPA Turkey will cıntinue to work to achieve a world where child marriage will end, all the girls will have the same rights and choices and fullfil their potential. Follow us to learn more about the second phase of our “Ending Child Marriages Project” on our website and social media accounts. 

Health mediators make door-to-door visits to raise awareness on the harmful impacts of child marriage © Sabancı Foundation