For its first observance occuring on 2012, the event theme will focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life.
Child marriage denies a girl:
- her Education,
- her Opportunities,
- Increases her risk to be a victim of violence and abuse,
- Jeopardizes her health and
- Therefore constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of nearly every Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the development of healthy communities.
Globally, around one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18. One third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls. In developing countries, 90 per cent of births to adolescents aged 15-19 are to married girls, and pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for girls in this age group. Girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to virtually end a girl’s education. Conversely, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children, making education one of the best strategies for protecting girls and combating child marriage.
Malagasy Women Wounded by Child Marriage and its Aftermath Empowering Girls in Nepal to Say ‘No’ to Child Marriage
"Marrying too young" Report, Exhibit and More