“To protect her honour”: Child marriage in emergencies – the fatal confusion between protecting girls and sexual violence

This report examines the issue of child marriage in the Syrian context, and what we can learn from our experiences there. It is the first in CARE’s Gender and Protection in Humanitarian Contexts: Critical Issues Series which aims to highlight promising practices and/or gaps in programming, and critically analyse work in the field of gender and protection in humanitarian contexts.

The report reviews the impact of the Syrian conflict on child marriage, drawing in particular on evidence from Jordan and from CARE’s Information Volunteer programme with Syrian refugees in Turkey. It explores the reasons for and the consequences of child marriage globally; considers the human rights and legal framework; and highlights the reasons behind the increase in child marriages in emergency contexts.

Based on this evidence, and on specific experience from the Syrian refugee crisis, the report makes the case for the prevention of child marriage to take place from the start of an emergency before dangerous levels are reached, and includes detailed recommendations for donors, implementing agencies, and Syrian refugee-hosting governments. 

  • Countries: Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Global
  • Published: June 2015

Related Publications

Evicted by climate change: Confronting the gendered impacts of climate-induced displacement

This report highlights the causes and consequences of climate-induced displacement. It argues that climate change exacerbates existing gender inequalities. The report calls for more women’s leadership and greater financial support for... Read more...


Evolving trends: Women in COVID-19

Three months after CARE’s first Rapid Gender Analysis on COVID-19, what has changed, what is the same, and what do we know now? CARE has... Read more...


COVID-19: One more setback for refugees in MENA – especially women and girls

A summary of the key findings of a forthcoming CARE Rapid Gender Analysis for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) examining the impacts for refugees and displaced people of the coronavirus pandemic and the economically damaging efforts at... Read more...


Where are the women? The conspicuous absence of women in COVID-19 response teams and plans, and why we need them

The COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately affecting women and girls. This makes it all the more important that their voices are equally included in the decision-making spaces and processes where responses are formed. CARE’s research has found... Read more...


Latin America and the Caribbean rapid gender analysis for COVID-19

Women and girls across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are facing a terrifying mix of increased domestic violence and care burden, as well as a lower access to income and jobs, and potential social unrest as a result of the coronavirus... Read more...


West Africa Rapid Gender Analysis for COVID-19

This rapid gender analysis finds that women are excluded from information sharing on COVID-19 and from key high level decision making processes at national and regional level, across West Africa. Despite this, the analysis also reveals how... Read more...


Localization in operational practice: CARE’s experience in Sulawesi and beyond

CARE is committed to working with partners in emergency response and furthering the global humanitarian localization agenda. This study, drawing on CARE’s response to the 2018 earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, aimed to explore what... Read more...


Global Rapid Gender Analysis for COVID-19

This Rapid Gender Analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on secondary data analysis undertaken between 12-20 March 2020, explores the current and potential gendered dimensions of COVID-19 and highlights the ways in which women, girls and other... Read more...


Gender implications of COVID-19 outbreaks in development and humanitarian settings

This paper, based on lessons learned and analysis of prior public health crises in the developing world and humanitarian settings, aims to help ensure COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts take gender into account in appropriate and meaningful... Read more...