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Child Marriage

Each day, more than 41,000 girls worldwide are married while still children, often before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. Child marriage, defined as marriage or a union taking place before the age of 18, endangers the life trajectories of these girls in numerous ways. Child brides are at greater risk of experiencing a range of poor health outcomes, having children at younger ages, having more children over their lifetime, dropping out of school, earning less over their lifetimes and living in poverty than their peers who marry at later ages. Child brides may also be more likely to experience intimate partner violence, have restricted physical mobility, and limited decisionmaking ability. Most fundamentally, these girls may be disempowered in ways that deprive them of their basic rights to health, education, equality, non-discrimination, and to live free from violence and exploitation, which continue to affect them into adulthood. This idea is to point out that since it was adopted by the United Nations in November 1989, 196 countries have signed up to the UNCRC, with only one country still to ratify. Countries sign onto these conventions because they want to have the advantages of being part of the International community. It is time for the rest of the world to hold those countries that continue to permit this practice to account. This practice flies in the face of the convention to which they signed onto. I am against cultural homogenization. But when they have agreed to abolish certain practices, governments in other countries need to be held to account by the rest of the world.
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