The United Nations (UN) published a news report this past Thursday, October 11, 2012, to mark the UN Day of the Girl Child. This day is dedicated to the “unique challenges girls face around the world” and it focuses on educating girls in academics, health, social and livelihood skills so they can become knowledgeable, active citizens.
This is the UN’s response to stop the alarming amount of child marriages throughout the world. At this rate, the UN predicts that between now and 2020, there will be 142 million child marriages and 151 million in the subsequent decade. Also, one in three girls in developing countries, excluding China, will probably be married before they are eighteen while one in nine will be married before their fifteenth birthday.
Child marriage is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. Forcing these girls to wed at any early age not only inhibits their abilities to go back to school and grow as an individual, but there is a higher risk of them getting sexually transmitted diseases and becoming victims of domestic violence.
These statistics and facts are disturbing and have triggered countries to pass laws against child marriage but this practice continues in spite of them. All over the world women rights activists have rallied and set up organizations to promote women’s education and protest against child marriage in hopes of sparking action by their government. The UN supports these activists’ efforts and calls upon the international community to follow suit and support young women in their fight for education and freedom.
What needs to be done by these countries’ governments to truly put an end to these practices? What else do you think the UN needs to do in order to end child marriage?
Photo Source: The Telegraph