There are girls as young as 13-years-old married off throughout the world. In developing countries, one out of every seven girls is married before her 15th birthday.
Girls married younger than the age of 18 often report that have been beaten by their husbands and forced to have sex. These girls often think it is acceptable for their husbands to beat them and make them feel powerless.
The main reasons for girls being married off include culture and parents’ desire to counteract a fear of their daughter getting molested. Tradition and culture are a big reason for young girls being married off; families are scared to stray from tradition in fear of being excluded from their communities. Poverty is another cause of child marriage. Poor families often marry off their daughters so that they have less expenses. They have one less body to feed, educate and clothe.
Although parents in certain situations marry their daughters off at young ages trying protect them, the young girls are still losing their human rights. They completely lose their childhoods.
Girls Not Brides is an organization working to protect girls from being married at a young age. They give a voice to the voiceless. Members of this organization are based in Africa, America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East; they are united in helping girls reach their full potential and not being married off at a young age.
Girls Not Brides works with 350 other civil organizations from over 60 countries. They believe that partnering up will bring attention to the issue and show that there are others who want to stop young marriages too.
Girls Not Brides reaches out to young girls and helps them feel empowered. They supply young girls with skills that will be useful in the future and have different workshops to show girls how to use their newly learned skills. This program also sets up support groups for young girls and boys to share their experiences so that they can become advocates against child marriage themselves.
Girls Not Brides has put together a technical brief on ending child marriages. Please take a look and see what you can do to help.