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How PHI's Rise Up Helped to Outlaw Child Marriage in Guatemala

August 31, 2017 | Rise Up | A version of this blog first appeared as an announcement from Rise Up.

This month, Guatemala officially outlawed child marriage, following a lengthy campaign led by PHI's Rise Up's amazing advocates, partners, and allies.

Advocates and girl leaders celebrate Guatemala's landmark new law outlawing child marriage.
Advocates and girl leaders celebrate Guatemala's landmark new law outlawing child marriage.

In 2013, Rise Up began funding several Guatemalan partners to advocate for a law to end child marriage. Rise Up leaders collaborated with a coalition of civil society partners to achieve an important legislative victory in 2015, when the Guatemalan Congress passed a national law banning the marriage of minors. However, the 2015 law contained a loophole stating that minors could still be married with permission from a judge. With this loophole in place, girls' fundamental rights remained at risk, as they could still to be forced into early marriages against their will.

Rise Up leaders continued fighting for girls' rights by advocating for an amendment to the 2015 law. On August 17th, 2017, the Guatemalan Congress repealed the child marriage loophole. Now, no Guatemalan minor may legally be married for any reason, with no exceptions.  

Rise Up girl leader speaks to the national media about  how child marriage impacts girls in her community.
Rise Up girl leader speaks to the national media about how child marriage impacts girls in her community.

This victory is a huge win for girls and women. Research demonstrates that girls who delay marriage are much more likely to stay in school, postpone childbearing, and grow into women who can pursue their own hopes for the future.

The Rise Up team is honored to have contributed to this landmark achievement for Guatemalan girls. We celebrate with Rise Up's Let Girls Lead team in Guatemala, and especially want to thank our Country Representatives, Verónica Buch and Juany Garcia, for their deep dedication, persistence, and strategic girl-centered advocacy with Guatemalan decision makers.

As this important victory in Guatemala shows, girls, youth, and women really do have the power to transform their own lives, communities, and countries.

To learn more about Rise Up's work with girl leaders, read the latest Rise Up blog post by Rita, a 17-year-old Guatemalan girl leader who is part of our Guatemalan Girl Network. Si se puede!

 


About Rise Up

Rise Up advances health, education, and equity by enabling girls, youth, and women to transform their own lives, communities, and countries. Rise Up invests in visionary leaders, local organizations, and innovative solutions to achieve large-scale change through leadership development, advocacy capacity building, grantmaking, and effective storytelling. Since 2009, Rise Up's powerful network of over 500 leaders has directly benefited 7 million girls, youth, and women, and advocated for over 100 laws and policies impacting 115 million people in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the US. Rise Up is based at The Public Health Institute, a leader in global health for 50 years.