By Peyton Jay, Andy Licata, Colin Nicholson, and Nick Xydakis
Definition of Child Marriage
Definitions according to unicef - Child marriage, defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, is a reality for both boys and girls, although girls are disproportionately the most affected. Child marriage is widespread and can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation.
Facts everyone needs to know
In all regions, girls with higher levels of schooling are less likely to marry as children. In particular, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children when compared to girls who have little or no education. Girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s, and pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide for women ages 15 to 19. A study in Kenya and Zambia by University of Chicago researchers found that among 15- and 19-year-old girls who are sexually active, being married increased their chances of having HIV by more than 75 percent.
It is not culturally relative as it oppresses specific individuals and in turn ultimately violates several human rights according to the UDHR.
Several rights are violated, such as article 1 - Free and Equal, article 16 marriage and family, article 26 - education, and article, 28 - A fair Free world, 30 - the right to have rights. Child marriage violates these rights by making women lower than men, does not give children the right to choose their spouse, hinders women’s ability to gain an education, and through all of this creates an unfair and unequal world.
Effects upon communities, nations and girls
In India and Pakistan, increased school enrollment has likewise been associated with a decline in marriage among girls younger than 14. In these same countries, more than 75 percentage of people live on less than $2 a day. Girls who were married before 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten. Child brides often show signs of child sexual abuse and post traumatic stress. After marriage, young girls access to formal and even non formal education is severely limited.
How to End Child Marriage