Get involved in our campaign to end the practice of "child marriage" and establish 18 as the minimum age of marriage.
“Child marriage” is a global problem, affecting 15 million girls a year. Over the next ten years, more than 41,000 girls will be married off every day before age 18 if current trends continue.
What is "Child Marriage?"
"Child marriage," defined as a formal marriage or informal union before the age of 18, disproportionately affects girls around the world. It is a human rights violation that legitimizes abuse and denies girls' autonomy under the guise of culture, honor, tradition and religion. When young girls are forced to marry, they are essentially subject to state-sanctioned rape and are at risk of increased domestic violence, forced pregnancy and negative health consequences, while being denied education and economic opportunity.
Protecting Girls from “Child Marriage”
Since 1995, Equality Now has been working to create a safer, healthier world for girls by advocating for an end to "child marriage." Our report Protecting the Girl Child: Using the Law to End Child, Early and Forced Marriage and Related Human Rights Violations, looks at the whole life of a girl when examining “child marriage,” exploring the factors that contribute to it, e.g. female genital mutilation, and illustrating the impact on a young girl’s life. Equality Now calls on governments to enact and uphold laws that prevent child marriage and to address the gender inequalities that drive it. Globally, we advocate for 18 as the minimum age of marriage.
Through our Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund, we have taken on cases of child marriage and successfully helped get divorces for two young girls in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, respectively. Through our GENEROSITY of GIRLS Fund, we are supporting partners who recognize child marriage as a human rights violation and are working to remove the vulnerabilities that lead to girls being married off as children.