15 Million Girls Getting Married Before 18: Ending Child Marriage Now

“Every two seconds around the world another girl is forced into marriage.”

Upworthy shared this post about child marriage across the globe. Girls as young as 8 years old are being forced into arranged marriages as a result of issues like poverty, culture, and religious pressures.

A young woman’s income-generating potential increases by 20% for every school year she completes beyond fourth grade. When countries put early marriage before a girl’s education, it’s a sure way to stay in poverty.

The online dating industry is worth $2 billion dollars as people seek to find love in whatever form. You can choose gender, age range, and distance. You can see photos, careers, life stories. The point is there is a choice.

Girls Not Brides cites “The right to ‘free and full’ consent to a marriage is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) prohibits child marriage.” So how does this continue? How is it that this year 15 million girls will be married before the age of 18, denying them access to opportunities such as education and career? Countries where child marriage is prevalent are known for a lack of enforcement of such laws or parental consent is considered enough to override.

So how do we end child marriage?

It’s going to happen in many ways.

1. CARE released this report on the state of child marriages around the globe. They’re also inviting you to sign this petition to Michelle Obama asking her to include the end of child marriage in her Let Girls Learn Initiative.

2. Girls Not Brides developed their Theory of Change, a long term plan for changing practices from a community level through four categories.

3. You can also give! Organizations such as the International Center for Research on Women have even more ways that you can get involved with ending child marriages. You can also give to their organization which is presently active in all those ways on the ground in countries that are needing the most help.

How will you get involved today?