Child marriage: A lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation, especially for girls

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Child marriage: A lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation, especially for girls

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sdg5-gender-equality
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Child marriage violates the rights of children in a way that often leads to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation, especially for girls. Typically, child brides have limited opportunities for education and employment, are at increased risk of domestic violence and other assaults to their physical and mental health, and have little decision-making power within the household, especially when married to older men. The practice of child marriage has been slowly declining. Around 2015, just over one in four women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before the age of 18; around 2000, the ratio was one in three. Faster progress has been made in delaying the marriage of girls under age 15, which declined from 11 per cent around 2000 to 8 percent around 2015. That said, progress has been uneven across regions and countries.

In Southern Asia, the proportion of women married before age 18 dropped by about 27 per cent; the proportion married before age 15 declined by about 44 percent. In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportions dropped by 13 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively. Nevertheless, early marriage in these regions remains commonplace, with more than one in three women reportedly married before age 18. Indeed, the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage are found in these two regions.

Proportion of women aged 20 to 24 years who were married or in union before ages 15 and 18, around 2000 and around 2015 (percentage)

Typically, child brides have limited opportunities for education and employment, are at increased risk of domestic violence and other assaults to their physical and mental health, and have little decision-making power within the household, especially when married to older men.
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One in five girls and women (aged 15 to 49) who have ever been married or in union reported they had been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, according to surveys undertaken between 2005 and 2016 in 87 countries.
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Around 2000, nearly one in three women between 20 and 24 years of age reported that they were married before age 18; around 2015, the ratio had declined to roughly one in four.
Women’s participation in single or lower houses of national parliaments worldwide reached only 23.4 per cent in 2017. In the majority of the 67 countries with data from 2009 to 2015, fewer than a third of senior- and middle-management positions were held by women.

Source:
http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/
UNITED NATION’s The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017

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