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“It is violence with the consent of society”, said Ela Bhatt, member of The Elders. She was speaking of child marriage, a harmful traditional practice that denies more than 14 million girls a year their right to live in safety.
Child brides are among the world’s most isolated and voiceless people. They rarely decide when or whom they marry and, as minors, they are often unable to negotiate safe or consensual sex with their husbands.
In areas where girls are at high risk of physical or sexual assault, some parents choose to marry off their daughter because they believe it will ensure her safety. These concerns are real. But early marriage does not provide a safe alternative. Girls who are married before 18 are more likely to experience emotional and psychological abuse than their unmarried peers and to report that their first sexual experience was forced.
Child marriage robs girls of their rights to health and education, too. Girls who marry as children tend to drop out of school, denying them the educational opportunities to lift her and her family out of poverty. And child brides are particularly vulnerable to death and injury in childbirth, with girls who give birth before 15 five times more likely to die childbirth than girls in their 20s.
Girls Not Brides: A partnership united by a vision of a world without child marriage
Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 200 non-governmental organisations united by a vision of a world free of child marriage in which girls are able to fulfil their potential.
Girls Not Brides members vary in size, location, and the type of work they do – from the grassroots groups working to end child marriage and support child brides in their communities, to international NGOs seeking to bring global attention to this neglected problem.
Show your support for a world without child marriage!
You can support our members’ work in a number of ways:
- Girls Not Brides is partnering with Catapult to connect you directly with our members and give you the chance to support their work to empower child brides and help girls avoid early marriage.
- Join the movement to end child marriage and sign up for updates via www.GirlsNotBrides.org
- Show that you're part of the global movement to end child marriage by posting a Girls Not Brides twibbon on your Twitter profile picture.
- Get informed. Read about the girls whose lives are affected by child marriage and the activists working to end the practice: Girls’ Voices
- In the lead-up to this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, share why you want to see a world free of child marriage using the hashtag #endchildmarriage . Follow Girls Not Brides on Twitter @GirlsNotBrides and join us on Facebook www.Facebook.com/GirlsNotBrides
- Read and share Girls Not Brides' blog about why ending child marriage should be a priority in the global effort to end violence against women and girls.
- Girls Not Brides member World YWCA is seeking 5000 organisations and individuals to call on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to adopt a special resolution or statement committing to end child marriage within a generation. Show your support and sign!
|Action Type:||Awareness Raising|