Ending Child Marriage programme - Zambia country profile (2018)

Country data and results from the Global Programme to Accelerate Progress on Ending Child Marriage.

A school girl in Zambia holds a textbook.


Over the past decade, the prevalence of child marriage has continued to decline. Globally in that period, the proportion of women who were married as children decreased by 15 per cent, from 1 in 4 to about 1 in 5 women. It is now estimated that a total of 650 million women alive today were married as children. However, the current rate of decline in child marriage is not sufficient to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of ending child marriage by 2030; at this rate it would take 50 years to eliminate child marriage worldwide. The reduction in child marriage has been uneven. While South Asia has led the way on reducing child marriage, the global burden is shifting to sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of progress need to be scaled up dramatically to offset population growth.

Global Programme approach
To achieve lasting change at significant scale, the Global Programme continued through 2018 to build government ownership and commitment towards ending child marriage within its 12 focus countries. An emphasis on promoting multisectoral approaches resulted in 3 out of those 12 countries increasing the number of geographic areas where UNFPA and UNICEF are working together; all 12 diversified their efforts to leverage the capacities and resources of other sectors, institutions, platforms and systems. The Global Programme currently works with 364 implementing partners (up from 236 in 2017).

Outcomes and headline results
Overall, the Global Programme is on track and most output targets were achieved or exceeded, sometimes significantly. The output results show that the programme is beginning to reach larger populations of adolescent girls and community members.

This report presents the programme data and results for Zambia in 2018.

Smiling school girl with text book in hand
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