There will be more than 100 million child brides in the next decade if we don't act now.
Tragically, 1 in 7 girls in developing countries is married by age 15 — often to a man twice her age or older. Child brides are often separated from friends and family and are denied an education.
They are also at higher risk for violence, HIV, and death during pregnancy or childbirth.
Child marriage is a human rights violation. On behalf of adolescent girls around the world, we are asking for President Obama's help. Our government has led the way in protecting and empowering girls through U.S. foreign assistance investments in health, development, and educational programs.
Child marriage undermines all of these investments and robs girls of their potential. We can succeed in helping to create a new future for millions of girls by:
--- Developing a strategy to help partner countries prevent child marriage;
--- Supporting programs and policies that prevent child marriage;
--- Monitoring and reporting on efforts to end child marriage.
There are 600 million adolescent girls in our world today. Each of these girls has tremendous potential to positively impact their family, community, and our future.
It is critical that the U.S. continues to work in partnership with local communities, leaders, governments, and the United Nations to address the rights and needs of girls. Urge President Obama to continue and expand U.S. support to help combat child marriage.