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Enforcing Policies Outlawing Child Marriage, Addressing Underlying Factors Critical To Protecting Girls

The Guardian: The Guardian view on child marriage: wedlock is a padlock for girls
Editorial Board

“…Worldwide, a girl under 18 is married every two seconds … Child marriage is linked to poverty, curtailed education, domestic violence, and maternal mortality. Young brides are under pressure to have children when they still have the bodies of children. Ending child marriage by 2030 is included in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The proportion of young women who married before 15 has dropped from 12 percent to eight percent since the early 1980s. But population growth means the absolute numbers will continue to rise. And despite improvements in laws and practice, the situation is deteriorating in places. … Good laws alone will not protect girls. … Enforcement is key, but so is tackling the underlying factors driving child marriage. These range from patriarchal attitudes through to a lack of economic opportunities, access to contraception, and conflict. … For the U.S. there can be no hesitation. … Changing state laws to safeguard them would not only protect its own girls but send a powerful global message. Wedlock is a trap for children. Free them” (11/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.