Taking a vow to end child marriage on International Women’s Day
Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. However, for millions of girls around the world, this day will be one they will never forget – for all the wrong reasons.
Child marriage happens every day, robbing girls of their rights, their childhoods and the power to shape their own futures. These girls are often subjected to violence and forced to leave school as prospects for a healthy, successful life are ripped away.
It’s time to speak out for the 15 million girls who will be married this year before their 18th birthday.
Today – on International Women’s Day – UNICEF and sister agency UNFPA launched the first-ever Global Program to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.
Seeing the damage that child marriage causes to individual girls, to their future children, and to their societies, we vow to take action with our new global program to reach the girls at greatest risk.
We vow to uphold the rights of all girls. Everywhere in the world. Whatever their age or their situation.
We vow to prevent girls from marrying too young and to support those already married as girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East where child marriage rates are high.
We vow to help every girl feel empowered.
We vow to involve girls, families, communities, governments and young people to be part of the solution.
We vow to increase girls’ access to education, educate parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage, increase economic support to families, and strengthen and enforce laws that establish 18 as the minimum age of marriage.
We vow to protect childhoods. When we let girls be girls, we all do better.
Happily ever after?
Putting an end to child marriage will help to save and transform lives – giving girls, societies and countries the chance to thrive. It will also help break intergenerational cycles of poverty.
‘Happily ever after’ is what we make it – and it starts today. Will you join us?
Take a vow to raise awareness by sharing this blog post and our social media posts.
Take a vow to support girls’ education and girls’ rights.
And take a vow to be a champion for childhood.