Today is Blog Action Day. The theme this year is ¨Raise your voice.¨ I decided to do my blog on girls that are subject to child marriage, because I find that it needs more awareness and concern.
Who is subject to child marriage?
Girls that are living in poor and impoverished households are about twice as likely to marry before they turn 18 than other girls in higher income households. Girls with lower levels of schooling are much more likely to be married as children.
What happens to the girls?
The girls who marry before they are 18 are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse and are at a higher risk of contracting HIV than other girls of the some age not married off. Pregnancy has persistently been among the greatest cause of death of these girls, ages 15-19 worldwide. A study conducted by ICRW ( International Center for Research on Women – link below) in two states in India found that girls who were married before they were 18 were about twice as likely to report being beaten, threatened or slapped by their husbands than girls who married later in life. Often times, the brides show signs of post-traumatic stress, like feelings of severe hopelessness and depression. Married girls often leave school and so may lack the skills to help lift their families out of poverty.
Where is child marriage practiced?
The countries with the highest rate of child marriage are mostly in Western and Sub-Saharan Africa. But, due to population size, the biggest number of child brides live in South Asia. More than half of the girls in Bangladesh, Mali, Niger, and Mozambique are married before age 18.
Why are these girls married off?
For most families, the decision is influenced by poverty, cultural norms and social norms. For many people, it is seen as reducing the amount of mouths to feed. Traditions and beliefs based on gender inequality mean that sometimes a daughter’s only choice is to become a mother and wife. No one religion is connected with child marriage. It is rather a collection of religions that are associated with child marriage in different countries in the world.
How many people are married as children?
Every year, about 15 million girls are married off. Today, more than 30% of today’s women were married before their 18th birthday. In the year 2050, if there is no shrinkage in child marriage, an additional 1.2 billion girls will be married.
How can we help these girls?
Check out websites like Girls Not Brides, unicef, and Every Woman Every Child. These sites are dedicated to helping woman and children in need. I will provide links down below. Remember to raise your voice, donate, and share the facts.
Thank you for reading! See you soon 🙂
Link for Girls Not Brides
Link for Every Woman Every Child
Link for unicef