What is the impact?
In 2010, 13.5 million girls were married before they turned 18. If we do nothing, by 2030 an estimated 15.4 million girls a year will marry as children.
In the developing world, one in seven girls is married before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine.
Neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers, these girls are at far greater risk of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, becoming infected with HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence. With little access to education and economic opportunities, they and their families are more likely to live in poverty.
Child marriage and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Child marriage directly hinders the achievement of 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Simply put, the international community will not fulfil its commitments to reduce global poverty unless it tackles child marriage.
Girls are disproportionately affected by child marriage
While boys are sometimes subjected to early marriage, girls are disproportionately affected and form the vast majority of the victims of child marriage. A comparison of the proportion of young women aged 15-19 who were married in 2003 to young men aged 15-19 who were married in the same year found the ratio to be 72 to 1 in Mali, 8 to 1 in the US, and 6 to 1 in El Salvador.
What does child marriage mean for girls?
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