Jul 12 by Jillian Timko
An important step in motivating people to raise their voices against child marriage is to educate them about the issue.
Here are some things you might not have known about child marriage.
- Percentages of girls married by 18
- Southern Asia = 48 percent
- Africa = 42 percent
- Latin America and the Caribbean = 29 percent
- In Ethiopia and some areas of West Africa, some girls are married as early as age 7. Age 7 is when most girls in the U.S. are entering second grade.
- If child marriages occur at the current rate, an additional 100 million young girls will be married within the next decade. In other words, there will be 25,000 new child brides every single day for the next 10 years.
- Research from 16 countries in Africa shows that husbands of girls 15-19 years old are often at least 10 years older than their wives.
- The right to free and full consent to a marriage is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Consent cannot be ‘free and full’ if the person is not old enough to make an informed decision regarding marriage. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women says that the betrothal and marriage of a child has no legal effect.
- Child marriage is sometimes seen as a way for impoverished families to provide for their daughters future or protect their daughters from HIV infection. However, girls who marry young have a higher chance of remaining in poverty, and studies show that young brides contract HIV at a faster rate than sexually active single girls in the same locations.
- Young brides are more likely to be beaten, threatened, enslaved or sexually exploited, and more likely to believe that it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife.
- Girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as women aged 20-24. The vast majority of these deaths take place within marriage rather than among sexually active single girls.
The consequences of child marriage can be avoided when you raise your voice to prevent it from occurring.
Sign the thank you letter that we are sending to U.S. senators to thank them for passing the bill against child marriage!