GIRLS Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage has announced Dr Anne T. Gallagher AO, Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, as the new Chair of its Board of Trustees (Board Chair).
Dr Gallagher will formally replace the Partnership’s current Board Chair and founder, Mabel van Oranje, on 16 September 2021. Van Oranje has served as Board Chair since Girls Not Brides was established in 2011 and will transition to become a Global Champion for the movement.
As Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation, Dr Gallagher is Ambassador for the 2.4 billion citizens of the Commonwealth: championing the voice of civil society across 54 countries. An international lawyer, teacher and human rights advocate, she has been widely recognised for her pioneering efforts to advance justice, equality and the rule of law. Dr Gallagher’s work in the United Nations and beyond to eliminate modern slavery and to advance the rights of girls and women has earned her many honours and awards.
Mabel van Oranje said:
“As someone with a shared background in advancing international justice and human rights, I am delighted to welcome Anne as my successor as Board Chair. Anne joins Girls Not Brides as we celebrate our tenth anniversary and the progress that our global Partnership has catalysed during that time. Looking at the next decade, we plan to accelerate the pace of change towards our end goal: a world without child marriage.
“I trust that Anne’s commitment, expertise and leadership will contribute to this ambitious vision of a world where all girls can reach their full potential and to continuing the critical role that Girls Not Brides plays in achieving this.”
Accepting the appointment, Dr. Gallagher said:
“The Partnership to end child marriage has grown from strength to strength over the past decade, now including more than 1,500 organisations that are striving to transform girls’ lives. This is a spectacular achievement and one that reminds us of the power of common purpose and collective action. I am honoured to be leading Girls Not Brides in the next exciting stage of its journey. It is time to harness what we have learned and focus all our energies on achieving a world where girls are truly free: free to make their own choices and shape their own futures.”
CEO of Girls Not Brides, Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell, said:
“As an organisation, we are deepening our work at the country level to deliver change for girls everywhere. We know that change happens locally, that national-level collective action is needed, and that civil society plays a key role in both. I am so thrilled that we are entering the next decade with a broader, more diverse and regionally representative board. Anne’s deep knowledge of – and passion for – raising the voices of civil society will be critical in steering our global Partnership on our pathway to zero child marriages.”
The Girls Not Brides Board of Trustees has expanded and diversified in 2020 and 2021, bringing in greater regional, gender and cultural representation. Recent additions to the Board include Zipporah Jean Alaroker, Michael Feigelson, Emma Puig de la Bellacasa and Rita Sarin.
Girls Not Brides’ vision – shared by its member organisations – Is a world without child marriage where girls and women enjoy equal status with boys and men and are able to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives.