60 million girls around the world are married before the age of 17 -- many to men twice their age or older. They need our help.
The cost of child marriage is too high to be ignored. When a girl is forced to marry at a young age, it diminishes her chance at an education, endangers her health and has long lasting and dire consequences not only for her, but for her family and community as well.
Young brides are:
- More likely to become young mothers. Girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die of childbirth than a woman in her 20s.
- More likely to drop out of school and have limited economic opportunities, which keeps them and their families locked in the cycle of poverty.
- Twice as likely to suffer domestic violence and are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV.
The United States can use its leadership to prevent child marriage. Please ask your representatives to co-sponsor the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2009.
Not every marriage lasts forever, but for the 60 million girls married before the age of 17, marriage has lifelong consequences. Forcing a child into marriage diminishes her chances at education, endangers her health and cuts short her personal growth and development. Maternal health risks are particularly troubling as the risk of death in pregnancy and delivery for girls under the age of 15 is five times higher than for women in their 20s.
The United States can use its leadership to prevent child marriage. As your constituent, I'm asking you to help by co-sponsoring the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2009 and supporting the act when it comes to a vote. This important legislation:
- Recognizes child marriage as a human rights violation.
- Develops a comprehensive strategy to prevent child marriage and empower young girls.
- Integrates child marriage prevention approaches throughout U.S. foreign assistance programs.
- Scales up proven approaches and programs to end child marriage.
The costs of child marriages are too high to be ignored. Societies cannot progress when the common practice of marriage relegates girls and women to a life of poverty. Please co-sponsor the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2009 to bring an end to this practice.
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