Advocating for the Rights of Women and Girls by Working to Outlaw Child Marriage in Guatemala
After leading a campaign in 2015 to increase the legal age of marriage in Guatemala to 18, advocates with PHI’s Rise Up successfully pushed for the closure of a loophole in the law in 2017, ensuring that no minor may legally be married for any reason. Rise Up began funding several Guatemalan partners to advocate for a law to end child marriage, collaborating with a coalition of civil society partners to push the Guatemalan Congress to pass a national law banning underage marriage. That law contained a loophole, however, stating that minors could still be married with permission from a judge—meaning girls could still to be forced into early marriages against their will.
Rise Up leaders continued fighting for girls' rights by advocating for an amendment to the law, and in August 2017, the Guatemalan Congress repealed the child marriage loophole. Now, no Guatemalan minor may legally be married for any reason, no exceptions.