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1 in 5 girls globally are married before they turn 18 – that is approximately 640 million women and girls alive today who were married as children. When a girl is married as a child, the impacts are far reaching, not only hurting the girl, but her entire community. This International Women’s Day let’s work to put an end to child marriage in all places it occurs. Here are 3 ways in which child marriage impacts a girl, her community, and the world.

1. Child marriage keeps girls from school.

Currently, nearly 130 million girls are out of school. When a girl gets married, she is often forced to end her schooling, having a myriad of impacts on the rest of her life. Keeping girls in school is also one of the best ways to end child marriage.

Educated girls marry later, raise healthier children, and are better heard in their community. A study by the International Center for Research on Women found that every additional year of secondary education reduced the likelihood that a girl got married by 5-6 percentage points. When a girl stays in school her future is brighter and she is better able to fully realize her God-given potential.

1 in 5 girls are married before they turn 18.

2. Child marriage comes with health risks.

When a girl is married young, her health outcomes can be severely impacted. Girls who become child brides are more at risk of pregnancy complications, maternal mortality, contracting HIV, and being a victim of domestic violence. In fact, the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 is complications from pregnancy or childbirth, and 90% of these births take place within marriage. Girls who are married before age 15 are also 50% more likely to be victims of domestic violence than those who are married as adults. Child marriage harms girls’ health and livelihoods and can cause detrimental health consequences that could have been prevented.

3. Child marriage keeps girls in poverty

Child marriage furthers the cycle of poverty, making it even more difficult for a girl to get out of poverty due to a lack of education, new responsibilities including needing to care for her children and the home, and social norms that may keep girls from working outside the home. Not only would ending child marriage increase the economic potential of a girl, but it would also help her community and the world. In fact, ending child marriage could contribute to economic gains of over $500 billion a year.

Tasya is speaking up to protect her classmates from child marriage.

We can all play a role in ending child marriage in our world by raising awareness, speaking to our leaders about the issue, and supporting World Vision’s work to protect and empower children, including girls like Tasya. In 2022, World Vision launched a child protection project in Sigi, Indonesia known as Channels of Hope. Channels of Hope trains community and faith leaders in the importance of child protection, including the risks and harms of child marriage and sexual violence. These sessions help train leaders to challenge harmful social norms and create a strong community network to protect children, especially girls.

Tasya, a student living in this town in Indonesia, leads The Child Forum in her community, designed to bring boys and girls together to raise awareness around child rights and fight child marriage.  Tasya helps organize educational events, raise awareness through social media, and leads other child participants in the forum in conducting research around their peers’ perceptions around child marriage as well as identifying any potential cases in their community.

Through the work of community volunteers and children like Tasya, more than 30 cases of child marriage have been reported to World Vision in the last year. Through these reporting mechanisms, cases are referred to the government support services who reach out to the families and offer services and support, such as income support for families who are struggling financially and health services for girls who are pregnant. Through projects such as Channels of Hope, girls’ lives are changed, child marriages are prevented, and communities are transformed, allowing girls to live up to their God-given potential.


Speak up to end child marriage!

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