Child marriage is defined as a formal marriage, or informal union entered into by an individual before the age of 18. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 15 million girls under 18 marry yearly. Child marriage violates the human rights of girls and young women.
A child is anyone younger than 18 according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Child marriage violates human rights because it deprives children of their childhood, their right to education, and their right to choose who they will marry.
Child marriage is often motivated by the belief that it will benefit the child. It is thought to protect girls from sexual violence, help them become financially independent, and safeguard their virginity. However, child marriage does not achieve these objectives.
Child marriage often results in girls being pulled out of school. This deprives them of an education and limits their prospects. In addition, child marriage is associated with early pregnancy and a host of health risks for both the mother and child. These include an increased risk of maternal mortality, obstetric fistula, sexually transmitted infections, and cervical cancer.
Child marriage also hurts the mental health of girls and young women. They are more likely to experience depression and anxiety and are at a greater risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
There is a growing movement to end child marriage. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to eliminate child marriage. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals targeted ending child marriage by 2030.
National laws have been changed in recent years to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18. In some countries, such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia, these changes have been accompanied by decreased child marriage rates. Yet a lot still needs to be done to stop child marriage.
Girls who are married as children are more likely to experience domestic violence than their unmarried peers. Moreover, they are more prone to be trafficked and to live in poverty.
Child marriage is against human rights and has to be prohibited. Girls and young women deserve to be free from this harmful practice so.
The effects of child marriage
Child marriage is a massive problem in many parts of the world. According to UNICEF, there are about 650 million women alive today who were married as children. That’s about 1 in 3 women. Child marriage is defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18.
The effects of child marriage are devastating. Girls who marry as children are more likely to drop out of school, suffer from domestic violence and live in poverty. They are also at greater risk of health problems like obstetric fistula, HIV/AIDS, and early pregnancy.
Child marriage is a human rights violation. Girls who are married as children are denied their right to choose when and whom to marry. They are also denied their right to education, health, and a life free from violence and abuse.
To end child marriage, we must invest in girls’ education, empower girls and women, and change social norms that condone child marriage. We also need to make sure that laws and policies are in place to protect girls from this harmful practice.
Why child marriage persists
There are many reasons why child marriage persists in many parts of the world. Here are three of the most common reasons:
Lack of education and awareness
One of the main reasons why child marriage persists is that many people are not aware of the negative consequences it can have.
In many cultures, child marriage is seen as a way to protect girls from sexual violence or to ensure their economic security. However, many people don’t realize that child marriage often leads to poorer health outcomes for both the mother and child, as well as increased rates of domestic violence.
Poverty is another major factor that contributes to child marriage. Often, families see marriage as a way to protect their daughters financially. In some cultures, girls are seen as a financial burden and are married off as soon as possible to reduce the burden on the family.
Lack of girls’ empowerment
Empowering girls and giving them a voice is another crucial factor in tackling child marriage. In many parts of the world, girls are not seen as equal to boys and are not given the same opportunities in life. This lack of empowerment can make it harder for girls to stand up for their rights and resist pressure to marry at a young age.
How to end child marriage
It is estimated that about 650 million women and girls alive today are married as children. Child marriage is against human rights and must be prohibited.
There are many ways to end child marriage. Governments can pass laws and policies to end child marriage. They can also provide services and support to girls at risk of child marriage. And civil society organizations can raise awareness and help girls escape child marriage.
The following actions can be taken to prevent child marriage:
Governments can pass laws to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years old.
Governments can provide services and support to girls at risk of child marriage, such as schools and vocational training.
Governments can raise awareness about the harmful effects of child marriage and help girls escape child marriage.
Civil society organizations can raise awareness about the harmful effects of child marriage and help girls escape child marriage.
Child marriage is against human rights and must be prohibited. Many things can be done to end child marriage. Governments, civil society organizations, and individuals can all play a role in ending child marriage.