A study by World Bank and Save the Children found that over 20 percent of the 7.5 million annual victims of illegal child marriages are in West Africa.

Globally, even after accounting for the possibility of exceptions to the legal age of marriage with parental or judicial consent, illegal child marriages make up 68 percent of all child marriages. That is more than 20,000 girls each day.

For it to be considered an illegal child marriage, a marriage must take place before a girl reaches 18 and before the minimum age for marriage in her country, with exceptions such as parental and judicial consent.

Kirsty McNeill, Save the Children’s policy, advocacy and campaigns executive director said: “We will not see a world where girls and boys have the same opportunities to succeed in life until we eradicate child marriage. When a girl gets married too young, her role as a wife and a mother takes over. She is more likely to leave school, she may become pregnant and suffer abuse.”

“Laws banning the practice are an important first step. But millions of vulnerable girls will continue to be at risk unless child marriage is tackled head-on. We need to change attitudes in communities so that we can end this harmful practice once and for all.”

Nearly two-thirds of underage marriages are taking place in countries where it is legally banned, suggesting laws are not enforced. In some countries, the minimum age for marriage is lower under religious law than national law, which undermines legal protection.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act states that a girl in India cannot marry before age 18, a boy before 21. However, nearly 30 percent of girls are married before they reach the legal age, according to census data.

In West Africa alone, 1.7 million girls are married below the minimum legal age every year, one of the highest rates globally.

The study suggests close to 100 million girls globally are not legally protected against child marriage.

Source

The Guardian

Feature Image Via Quartz

  • “We need to change attitudes in communities so that we can end this harmful practice once and for all.”

    Change attitudes ?? Religion can only be overthrown by external forces. Religion is the reason these noble girls and women are suffering. Until religion is exiled from human society can justice for women be firmly established.

    Everything else is but cosmetic. (even in the west.)

    • Steve O

      If you’re going to overgeneralize to “religion” in general, is it okay for me to overgeneralize regarding Islam? How about Hinduism?

      • All religion is toxic.
        (Hinduism maintains an unforgiving caste system.)

        But, in all the land, who is the fairest off them all — Islam (that’s sarcasm or irony — one of them anyways, I always get them mixed up)

        Now go away, I have to recite my “Hail Marys”

        • Agent 99

          Correction: all human zealotry is toxic.
          Atheists (who literally define themselves by what they’re against instead of what they’re for) are some of the most fearful, faithful zealots around.

          • atheism was an appellation provided by Christians, i believe

          • Agent 99

            I used to be an atheist, Dante.

          • so there is hope

          • Agent 99

            Recommendation: don’t close all your windows, so to speak.

    • Agent 99

      Yo Dante, what about other ‘dangerous’ organized groups who have literally and figuratively bulldozed tens of millions of people into mass graves? Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al? Common denominator? ==> atheism

      The problem with control-freakishness is it’s a universal human attribute affecting everyone everywhere.

      • Religion is like oxygen to an inferno — why make it worse.

        And while we’re on the subject, Stalin studied Theology in a Christian seminary for two years.

        • Agent 99

          All that means is that Stalin better knew his victims, Dante.

          By the way (and you should like this) here’s a description of religion from a non-religious perspective:

          From an anthropological standpoint, what constitutes a religion or the function a religion serves:

          A religion is a collective set of beliefs…it has a leader (or leaders) who promote the beliefs among the followers. The followers make some kind of contribution or change in their lifestyle based on the religious belief. The religious belief gives them a total view of the world in terms of how the world is structured: what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s good action, what is bad action….

          –Michael Crichton, “Environmentalism as a Religion”
          Look up the video. It’s good.

  • Africa is a disgusting cesspit.

  • Paul

    Child grooms are also a problem in some areas of the world. They are expected to leave education and provide for their family. Often performing backbreaking physical labor.

  • A V Sandi Nack

    Is it just me or do these numbers seem to come from the same people that say 4/5 women will be sexually harrasssed in college? The number sound like hyperbole.

  • zachay

    it wont be long before CA does the same

  • Wake up

    sadly child “marriages” exist because perverts and pedophiles exist and use this as a BLIND.

  • Calvin

    Damn those white nationalists!