Child marriage is defined as marriage under the age of 18. In the Solomon Islands the minimum age for girls to marry is 15 years, however it is evident that there are uprising issues in the country that are related to child, and forced marriage. This often results in poor education, health, poverty and domestic violence.
One of the community leaders from Honiara agreed that early marriage existed in the Solomon Islands, “Early marriage takes place here. Young married couples struggle with their children and married life. So it’s good for us to be aware and make good decisions about marriage,” he said.
The World YWCA expressed, “This is an important priority for the World YWCA in its work to end Violence Against Women and to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights … Ensuring child, early and force marriage is a priority in the future global development agenda is one of the key targets of the World YWCA's advocacy plan”.
Through its programs YWCA Solomon Islands have helped young girls, including those who have undergone child marriage. The trainings cover topics of health, self esteem, human rights, and skills that will help them to engage in small business activities to generate income for their families.
YWCA SI believed that through the help of all individuals and stakeholders, everybody in the country can say NO to child, early and forced marriage.
Last week marks the YWCA Week without Violence. YWCA of the Solomon Islands joined other YWCAs around the world in recognising the week which falls on 14 to 20 October. The theme of the week focuses on the campaign to end early, child and forced marriage.