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Child marriages: 39,000 every day


Child marriage is increasingly recognized as a violation of the rights of girls for the following reasons:

  • Effectively ending their education

  • Blocking any opportunity to gain vocational and life skills

  • Exposing them to the risks of too-early pregnancy, child bearing, and motherhood before they are physically and psychologically ready

  • Increasing their risk of intimate partner sexual violence and HIV infection

"Child marriage is a huge problem in poor communities," says Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA. "Early marriage and child marriage robs the future. Girls lose the opportunity for education. They lose the opportunity to choose their partner and must live with that pain for the rest of their lives."

The World YWCA will present a petition to CSW urging the group to pass a special resolution calling for an end child marriage. Signatories believe that by working collaboratively, member states and concerned groups can end child marriage by 2030.

Despite the fact that 158 countries have set the legal age for marriage at 18 years, laws are rarely enforced since the practice of marrying young children is upheld by tradition and social norms.

The detrimental effects of early child marriage

"Child marriage is not only wrong, it is dangerous. It exposes a young girl to profound health risks from early pregnancy and difficult childbirth and it exposes her baby to complications of premature birth," says Anthony Lake Executive Director of UNICEF.

According to the UN, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death for girls aged 15-19 years in developing countries. Of the16 million adolescent girls who give birth every year, about 90 percent are already married. UNICEF estimates some 50,000 die, almost all in low- and middle-income countries. Stillbirths and newborn deaths are 50 percent higher am

Contact: Marshall Hoffman
Hoffman & Hoffman Worldwide

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