UN Women Spotlights Child Marriage on International Day of the Girl


“Without progress for girls, there can be no real progress,” says UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The International Day of the Girl is a day to celebrate girls -- their strength, their talents, their tenacity, their kindness, their accomplishments -- as well as to reaffirm that girls matter and how we need to do better protecting and lifting up girls everywhere. They're not property, they're not inferior to boys and men, and they have the right to determine and forge their own futures.

UN Women focuses on how an issue that often stands in the way of girls' futures: child, early and forced marriage. Presenting sobering facts and data on child marriage, the organization offers statistics, discussion, personal stories, videos and more detailing how to help, protect and empower girls around the globe. Click through to check out a thorough study into the subject, also including UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson visiting Malawi to highlight the need to end child marriage.

Learn the facts on child marriage, share your hopes for girls around the world -- and may we all lift up and celebrate all girls, all day, every day.

unwomen.org - There are 1.1 billion girls today, a powerful constituency for shaping a sustainable world that’s better for everyone. They are brimming with talent and creativity. But their dreams and potential are often thwarted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities. There are glaring gaps in data and knowledge about the specific needs and challenges that girls face.

What gets counted, gets done. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, on 11 October, “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement,” is a call for action for increased investment in collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data. One year into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, improving data on girls and addressing the issues that are holding them back is critical for fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals

One such issue that is standing in the way of girls’ progress is child marriage. The data is daunting—one in three girls in developing countries (except China) get married before they turn 18. Girls who are child brides miss out on education, are more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and bear children before they are physically or emotionally prepared. The cycle of violence that begins in girlhood, carries over into womanhood and across generations. The 2030 Agenda must address their needs and unlock their potential.


UN Women works around the world to empower women and girls and raise awareness on their rights, advocate for the adoption and implementation of laws and policies that prohibit and prevent child, early and forced marriage, and mobilize communities against the practice.

On the International Day of the Girl Child, we stand with the global community to support girls’ progress everywhere. Let girls be girls.

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