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.
How Equality Now Works To End “Child Marriage”
Since 1995, Equality Now has been working to create a safer, healthier world for girls by calling 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.
“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.