Every year, 15 Million girls under the age of 18 are married off to much older men. For these brides, their wedding day is not a time of celebration, but the beginning of a nightmare that takes away their childhoods and the opportunity to have a self-determined future. Child brides are susceptible to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, STDs, and have an increased risk of complications and death during pregnancy and childbirth. They are in essence “owned” by their new husbands.
The country with the highest rate of child marriages is Niger, where three quarters of all girls in the country are married before their 18th birthdays. But this is still only a fraction of the total number of girls who are married worldwide every year. Click here to read the stories of those who have experienced child marriages, like Samia, who escaped her marriage and is intent on becoming self-sufficient.
According to UNICEF, “If current trends continue, the total number of women married in childhood will grow from more than 700 million today to 950 million –almost 1 billion women – by 2030.” We must stop this. UNICEF and Bridal Musings have partnered to create a powerful video and social media campaign to bring the issue of child marriage to light, encouraging us to use the hashtag #EndChildMarriage to draw further attention to the cause. Let’s make it viral!
Watch the unsettling video that drives home the absurdity and tragedy of child marriage below>>
Want to offer additional help to vulnerable children? Click here to help pass legislation to end child trafficking in the United States!Whizzco