Before she's ready: Fifteen places girls marry by 15
While most girls in North America are starting a new school year this week, millions of their peers across the developing world must stay home and stop their education because they have become child brides. The result is a continuing spiral of poverty, illiteracy and maternal and child health problems in impoverished and underdeveloped communities worldwide, humanitarian workers say.
Child and early marriage — before the ages of 14 and 18, respectively — are expected to claim the futures of some 100 million girls in the next decade, depriving most of them of the chance to finish school and putting them at higher risk of injury or death due to early childbearing, and of contracting HIV. Aid workers also report that the current global food crisis is exacerbating the practice, pushing more poor families to send young daughters into marriage in their struggle to cope with the strains of deeper poverty and hunger.
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