How Does Education of the Girl Child Impact Child Marriage in Developing Countries?

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) defines child marriage as “a formal or informal union where one or both parties are under the age of 18.”[1] Around the world, an estimated 12 million girls are married each year before their 18th birthday. Education of the girl child is essential to lowering this number since it is one of the keys to preventing child marriage. According to UNESCO, enabling all girls to have a primary education would reduce child marriage rates by a sixth.[2]

When girls stay in school, they can develop a foundation for a better life for themselves and for their family.


  • Access – Education needs to be made available to girls. This includes reducing the cost of education or substantially helping families who are unable to afford the fees and supplies. It also requires schools to provide appropriate sanitation and hygiene facilities for girls.
  • Knowledge – School curriculum and training must empower girls to see an alternative to early marriage. Through such education, girls can understand what child marriage entails and that they can wait until they are older to get married.

GFA World helps girls in each of these facets.


First, through a child sponsorship model, children receive key help for education in the form of tutoring provision of needed school supplies. With this assistance provided through the program, children are more likely to remain in school and be successful in school.

Additionally, GFA provides training concerning child marriage, child labor and other harmful practices that may occur in the child’s culture so these children can learn how to avoid these practices. Program staff also guide and assist children when they are in need. GFA also helps children understand they are valued and loved by God.

Will you sponsor a girl child today and help protect her from early marriage? Your sponsorship will show her she is loved. In addition to education, the program provides for vital needs which may be lacking such as access to clean water, nutritious food, hygiene training, medical checkups, basic sanitation facilities and community service opportunities. These items help relieve financial strain for families who are living in poverty.

Learn more about sponsoring a girl and protecting her future through education

[1] “Child Marriage: Child Marriage is a violence of human rights, but is all too common.” UNICEF. http://data.unicef.org/child-protection/child-marriage. 2015.
[2] “New UNESCO Data Proves Education Transforms Development.” UNESCO Press Release. https://en.unesco.org/gem-report/sites/default/files/PR_Ed_transforms_En.pdf. September 18, 2013.