Expert Working Meeting on Sexuality and Child, Early, and Forced Marriage
March 8, 2016
41 experts in the field of adolescent development and sexuality programs gathered to discuss the control of sexuality in the context of CEFM. Participants—who included local, national, and global program implementers, government representatives, philanthropic foundations, researchers, and policy advocates—brought extensive and diverse expertise on the issues of sexuality and CEFM. The two-day meeting was hosted by American Jewish World Service, CARE USA, International Women’s Health Coalition, and GreeneWorks at the Open Society Foundations in New York City, USA.
The meeting had four main objectives:
Establish a common framework for understanding control of female sexuality as a central driver of CEFM, and discuss why sexuality is traditionally missing from the CEFM discourse;
Discuss challenges and capacity-building needs in addressing sexuality in the context of CEFM;
Share concrete examples of diverse, culturally specific, age appropriate, effective or promising, rights-based programming on sexuality at multiple levels (i.e. political, global, national, community);
Develop recommendations for addressing sexuality within the context of CEFM, including programmatic, research, and advocacy gaps.
One of the outcomes of the meeting was to create working groups to tackle these issues – the Child, Early, & Forced Marriages & Unions and Sexuality Working Group was formed as a result of this meeting.