Making girls study up to high school can help prevent at least 50 million child marriages across the world by 2030, the Save the Children organisation has said.
While an estimated 25 million child marriages were prevented in the past decade, no developing country is currently on track to meet the UN goal of wiping out the social practice by 2030, an analysis by the organisation working for the children across the world has found.
“According to the current trend, it is estimated that 134 million girls will get married between 2018 and 2030. Almost 10 million girls will marry in 2030 alone, and more than two million of these marriages will involve girls under the age of 15,” the organisation said in a statement.
“A recent Save the Children study in Niger – having the highest rates of child marriage in the world – found that girls who do not attend school are more at risk of child marriage, early pregnancy, and malnourishment.”
The analysis revealed that child marriage is one of the leading reasons for school drop-out in low-income countries. At the same time, out-of-school girls are exposed to increased risk of child marriage, with many living in insecure environments.
“Parents often feel that marrying off their daughters will protect them from harm or the stigma associated with having a relationship or becoming pregnant outside of marriage,” it said.
“Out of every 28 child marriages every minute across the world, more than two take place in India. Progress is being made, but not fast enough. On the International Day of the Girl, we urge our government to prioritise tackling of child marriage, one of the major barriers to the empowerment and education of so many girls,” Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children, India chapter, said.