Every year 14 million girls are married as children. What’s worse is that the number is estimated to grow to 15.4 million by 2030.
- 1,166,666 a month
- 269230 a week
- 38,461 a day
- 27 every minute
The alarming bit is that child marriages are not restricted to one or two countries. It is a global phenomenon, a problem rampant from the Middle East to Latin America, from South Asia to Europe.
This International Women’s Day a handful of women braved the streets of a war-wrecked Baghdad in Iraq to save their girls from child marriage.
A year ago, a 6-year-old girl was saved from being married off to pay debts.
In September 2013, a little girl raped by a middle aged man was ordered by the local kangaroo court to marry her assailant’s son.
Not long before that a 90-year-old Saudi man sued his 15-year-old bride after she shut herself in her bedroom on their wedding night.
A Today, a constitutional body in Pakistan, the kind that provides legal advice to the Pakistani government has ruled child marriages to be in confirmation with Islam and Islamic laws. Here is why we think it’s important to address the issue:
Why is it important to put an end to this practice?
A child bride is denied all her rights as a kid. Her rights to health, education and opportunity, and worst of all a child bride is robbed of her childhood.
Imagine a girl of 9, 10 or even 14 going through the responsibilities of marriage – a 9 year old going through pregnancy. A 9 year old is not equipped to deal with that kind of physical, emotional and psychological trauma. So the question is, is it fair to take out these young girls, out of the playgrounds and classrooms and force them into lives they are not equipped to living?
Some of the biggest consequences of early marriages are a high rate of infant mortality arising from girls having early and frequent pregnancies.
Here’s a glance at what exactly an underage marriage means to a girl’s life:
How Can You Help?
There are organizations like Too Young To Wed, Girls Not Brides, Care and International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) get information, sign petitions, promote awareness. Every bit of help, every word and voice against the practice robbing little kids of their childhood and innocence helps.