7 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT CHILD MARRIAGE
Around the world, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, romance and commitment – an occasion, perhaps, to get engaged or married. But for millions, what should be a joyous moment is not the stuff of fairy tales. Too many women and girls were married off before they reached 18 – many forced to leave school, exposed to violence and pressed into parenthood before they were ready physically or emotionally.
Child marriage is a human rights violation that often ensnares the most vulnerable, impoverished and marginalized girls. But it is also calamitous for communities and societies, locking child brides and their families in a cycle of poverty lasting generations. Ending child marriage – enabling girls to complete their educations, postpone motherhood, find gainful employment and fulfil their potential – could generate billions of dollars in earnings and productivity.
This Valentine’s Day, as in previous years, UNFPA calls on the world to end child marriage. Below are seven facts about the issue; stronger awareness of its pervasiveness globally and its consequences may help leaders – as well as young people themselves – achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending the practice once and for all.
Cover Photo ©UNFPA Bangladesh / Prince Naymuzzaman