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Start and finish time of webinar
10am-11,30am (UK) / 11am-12,30pm (CET) / 12pm-1,30pm (Jordan)

About the webinar

Terre des hommes (Tdh) in the MENA region and Dr. Aisha Hutchinson (now based at King’s College London), carried out a five-year (2016–2020) study on Child Marriage: ‘Understanding Child Marriage amongst Syrian Refugee Communities in Jordan and Lebanon’. 

Discussions have been held in the MENA region with academics and practitioners in the field of child marriage, including within the Working Group: Regional Accountability Framework of Action on Ending Child Marriage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)/Arab States region (RAF). These discussions have stressed the importance of translating and using evidence-based research to build tailored policies and programs that can advance a regional agenda on child marriage, and most importantly, support the girls and young women affected by child marriage (whether at risk, married, separated/divorced, or widowers).

With that aim, in 2020, Tdh and KCL launched a follow-up project, ‘Grounded in their lives: comprehensive stakeholders engagement to change child marriage policy and programming for girls in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’. The project has involved a number of interrelated processes through extensive consultations and engagement with international, national, and local stakeholders in the region working on child marriage. It has produced the following products built upon the research findings:

  • A child-friendly and gender-responsive version of the key research findings in the form of a poster, which also reflects the input provided by girls and young women through a tailored participation process.
  • Policy briefs developed with governmental authorities in Jordan and Lebanon to contribute to the priorities set on their corresponding national action plans on child marriage.
  • A series of case studies capturing the stories and aspirations of girls and young women affected by child marriage in the MENA region.
  • A Brief Operational Guide for Child Marriage Case Management in the MENA region.

Additionally, Tdh has developed a first-of-its-kind Child Marriage MENA Model of Action, from the learnings accumulated since 2016. It is a regional programmatic framework and tool to guide Tdh operations in design, implementation, and monitoring of interventions addressing child marriage in the region.

The webinar will present the milestones achieved with the aforementioned products/deliverables, and will foster a discussion to continue advancing the agenda of child marriage in the MENA region, bridging research with development, humanitarian and peace-building policy and practice on the ground.

About the speakers

Marta GilMarta GIL is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Coordinator for the Access to Justice Programme at Terre des hommes Lausanne Foundation (www.tdh.ch). A dedicated international professional and passionate child rights and gender advocate, she has worked for more than 13 years towards lasting social change. Her areas of expertise include policy development, advocacy and research, programme design, management and capacity building, both in development and emergency contexts. Thematically, GIL’s expertise is focused on child protection, particularly on Access to Justice for Children and Youth and Gender Justice, including Child Marriage.

 Dr Aisha HUTCHINSON

Dr Aisha HUTCHINSON is currently based at King’s College London in the School of Education, Communication and Society as a Lecturer in Social Sciences. Aisha is a qualified social worker and has been engaged in research on early childbearing and child marriage for the past 15 years, in lower- and middle-income countries, with a recent focus on humanitarian contexts. Aisha has a particular interest in understanding what terms like ‘empowerment’ actually mean to young women, and how they negotiate their agency and enact ‘coping strategies’ within complex power dynamics. Aisha has experience in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and is a particular advocate for projective research methods, such as projective storytelling and participatory methods.

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