Preventing Early & Forced Marriage

Project snapshot

  • Project: PROJEUNES – Preventing Early & Forced Marriage
  • Goal: To promote sexual and reproductive health and adolescent/youth rights in Benin, particularly for girls, contributing to the reduction of child, early and forced marriage, and adolescent girls birth rate.
  • Target group: Adolescent and youth, boys and girls (age 15-24), women of reproductive age (25-49)
  • Where: 20 villages in two departments (Alibori and Borgou) in the North of Benin
  • Duration: April 2018 to March 2021 (3 years)

The situation

Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Benin has a young population, with 48% of the population under 15 years old. These young people, particularly adolescent girls, face significant challenges including discrimination, lack of access to services and limited opportunities. This is particularly true if we look at sexual and reproductive health and rights. This project is addressing the inequalities between women/girls and men/boys related in particular to social and cultural norms. The inequalities faced by these women and girls are also reflected in high rates of gender-based violence. CARE’s baseline data showed that one woman in ten (10%) reported having experienced sexual violence at some point in her life. In addition, the country is among those where the prevalence of early marriage remains high. Child marriage rates are highest in Alibori (where 54% of women ages 20-49 were married before age 18) and Borgou (40%). Adolescent girls are also much less likely to use or have access to modern contraceptives.

What we are doing

CARE works in partnership with the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, an international organization of young people (aged 18-29 years) committed to promoting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR) at the national, regional and international levels. CARE also works closely with local partners to engage communities to improve access to, and accountability of, local health systems, with a focus on addressing gender inequality; and to provide comprehensive sexuality education to in-school and out-of-school adolescents. Key project interventions include:

  • SRHR education for adolescent girls and boys
  • Sexual and reproductive health services
  • Psychosocial support to child marriage survivors
  • Promotion of adolescent girls’ sexual rights
  • Advocacy and governance

What you can do

Project targets

  • PROJEUNES is expected to directly support 269,334 adolescent boys (age 15-19) and young men (age 20-24), and 308,349 adolescent girls (age 15-19) and young women (age 20-24), as well 80 families and 10,963 women, 9,545 men (age 25-49), and 400 community leaders
  • The project is expected to indirectly support 507,938 women and 481,222 men (age 25-49)


In partnership with the Government of Canada logo
Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

The Government of Benin (Ministry of Health; Ministry  of Social Affairs and Microfinance; and Ministry of Secondary Education, Technical and Vocational Training)