Each year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 are married around the world. That is one girl every three seconds who is at a greater risk of violence, trapped in poverty, often pulled out of school and can be left with serious health complications or even face death due to early pregnancy.
In 2015, world leaders committed to ending child marriage by 2030 through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With only 11 years left, it is time for governments to take bolder action and implement these commitments. If efforts to address child marriage are not significantly scaled up, an additional 150 million girls will be married before their 18th birthdays before 2030.
At the SDG Summit 24-25 September, governments from around the world will convene to decide on our planet’s future. This is a big moment for change, and we cannot let them forget about girls.
That is why Zonta International is partnering with Girls Not Brides, for the Stop Stealing Her Childhood campaign, which calls on world leaders to protect girls from child marriage.
Unless we end child marriage, we cannot achieve eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including those on poverty, food security, health, education, gender equality, economic growth, and peace and justice.