According to the latest UNICEF data released yesterday, 12 million girls under the age of 18 are getting married each year around the world. The new figures indicate a decline of 15% over the last decade.
Despite this positive development, Unicef estimates that if the phenomenon of child marriage continues, more than 150 million girls worldwide will be married before their 18th birthday by 2030.
“A girl forced to marry during childhood experiences the immediate and long-term consequences of this early marriage on her life. Her chances of finishing school are decreasing while the likelihood of her being abused by her husband and suffering complications during pregnancy increases. This practice also has serious consequences for society and feeds intergenerational cycles of poverty. Given the dramatic consequences of early marriage on a girl’s life, any drop is welcome, but we still have a long way to go, ” said Anju Malhotra, UNICEF’s Senior Advisor for Equal Opportunities. equality.
“Every child marriage avoided is valuable, because it means that one more girl has a chance to reach her potential. However, we must all redouble our efforts if we are to fulfill our global commitment to eliminate child marriage by 2030, and prevent this devastating practice from depriving millions of girls from their childhood. She added.
Although this practice is rare in the West, it is common in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have put in place plans to end child marriage by 2030.